Augustin Kanyunyi Basabose, one of Africa's leading experts on Great Apes, is now the Interim Director of the International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) - a coalition of the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna & Flora International, and the World Wide Fund for Nature.
A woman enters the Virunga Massif with her baby tied on her back. She's looking for a few jerricans of water to do the washing, cooking, and provide drinking water for her family. With limited choices, she enters the park, in search of a forest stream. Thousands like her do the same, especially during the region's dry season in June, July and August.
In the heart of the Virunga Massif, unhabituated mountain gorillas range. Unfortunately, poachers also range there, setting traps called snares for wildlife. In early February, one of those unhabituated mountain gorillas was found dead, after what was likely several days of struggling in a rope snare.
Tuyambaze, center in dark blue, helps put up the frame of the water tank alongside Annonciata Akobahoranye of Imbere Heza, right. Tuyambaze and his younger sister are no longer in school, but tend the potato fields and manage the household they share with their grandmother.
Perusi Florence and her brother Tuyambaze will start the year 2012 with a burden relieved. They will no longer walk an hour to fetch water every morning. They will no longer have to pay 2,000 Uganda Shillings (the currency of choice in this area of DRC equivalent to about 75 US cents) per month to collect water. They will be able to step outside the home that they share with their grandmother and fill their jerricans with the rain that fell the day before.