Widows of KBNP Rangers

Most communities in the central Africa rely on natural resources for daily survival. When some areas used by local communities are converted to totally protected areas, the same local communities are the ones that enter there illegally.

Rangers working for protected areas are also from those communities. These rangers are trained to patrol and catch poachers. Poachers are often arrested and detained for a certain period and obliged to pay fines despite their level of the poverty. In the case of the Kahuzi Biega National Park(KBNP), rangers are very active and working hard day and night for the long term protection of this natural habitat and it’s wildlife that was created four decades ago.

Few number of rangers died while on duty in the period of 1970-1996. However from the beginning of the war, particularly in the eastern of DRC in 1996, until 2010, 14 rangers are recorded to have died while on duty. They succumbed in the field to different causes as such as being shot by armed poachers, different armed factions, while others died from some accidents during the patrols in different sectors while chasing out people who are putting pressure on the natural resources.

Rangers are usually all married and have large families. When they die they would leave widows with more than five orphans behind them without shelters. Widows themselves must do their best to feed, clothe, and school these orphans which is a non-easy task to fulfill for an unemployed and unskilled mother. In the KBNP those rangers died left behind 14 widows and a number of orphans. They deserve helping hands from goodwilled people in order to help the orphans to grow up.

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