Democratic Republic of Congo

Bees sweeten relationships between the Twa and Bantu communities in eastern DRC

Daniel Mbuyu beekeeper in eastern DRC
Daniel Mbuyu beekeeper in eastern DRC © Laura Angela Bagnetto/RFI

On the outskirts of Kabalo, a small town in Tanganyika province, Democratic Republic of Congo, the bush is buzzing with the sound of bees. Honey is a staple food for both the Twa and Bantu communities who live there.

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The two communities, who historically have had tense inter-ethnic relations in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, are part of a programme that teaches a more efficient way of maintaining beehives with box hives.

People living on the outskirts of town maintain the hives, in partnership with the Food and Agricultural Association (FAO) and the World Food Program.

A total of 570 hives have been installed and already started producing honey throughout Kabalo territory, and although theft has been an issue, organisers are hoping to expand the programme to include more of the community, and even open a shop in the centre of town.

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