Mabira Forest Integrated Community Organization (Mafico) is a non-governmental organization (NGO) formed by the people living within and around mabira forest
Started as Mabira Forest Tourism Committee (MFTC) in 1996 with a committee composed of representative from the five surrounding villages.
But the need for greater community involvement and participation in conservation led to the formation of MAFICO.
A developed forest community within Uganda
The mission of MAFICO is to improve the livelihoods and welfare of the local communities by conserving the environment through development
The membership of MAFICO Is open to all community based organization (CBOs) interested in integrated natural resource management with a positive thinking towards conservation for development.
The central steering committee (CSC) or the Board is the apex policy making body formed by an eleven (11) member team who are elected during a delegates conference under the guidance of the speaker.
The project implementation unit (PIU) or the secretariat is headed by an executive secretary, elected and appointed by the Central Steering Committee (CSC) and approved by the Delegates Conference (DC), with a technical staff that manages the day today activities of the Organization.
All the recruited staff /volunteers under the different projects work under the direct supervision of the executive secretary .
The Common Interest Group (CIG) is the lowest implementation level linked by the Common Interest Committee (CIC) through the Sub Standing Committees (SSC) to the CSC elected and approved by the DC.
Gender distribution and representation on the committee
Five out of the eleven member committee are women, two youth and they hold key positions in the Organization.
Formation and legal status
MAFICO was formed in 2000 from the communities living within and around Mabira Forest, and was registered as a non governmental, non profit organization (NGO) in March 2003 ( REG No S.5914/ 4330) under the Ministry of internal affairs, National NGO board.
What has MAFICO done
- She conducted a base line survey / needs assessment of its constituent groups in its area of operation in 2002. A report was compiled and this forms the basis for projects prioritization.
- Organized Study tours to local NGOs involved in integrated resource management and conservation, particularly the Budongo Forest Community Development Organization [BUCODO] now Community Development and Conservation Agency (CODECA).
- Mobilized, sensitized and grouped communities into 72 community interest groups (CIGs) involved in multiple activities such as agriculture, resource conservation, health, education with in and around Mabira Forest in Najjembe and Nagojje sub counties.
- Wrote a Constitution that was approved on, August 27TH 2002 by the first delegates’ conference.
- Registration of the Organization with the National NGO board, Ministry of Internal Affairs (a certificate was issued and renewed).
- Mobilized sensitized communities and organized two environment conservation festivals for schools and communities in partnership with the Forestry Department/ National Forestry Authority in 2002 and 2003 at the Mabira ecotourism centre
- Partnered with Forest Department / National Forestry Authority (NFA) under the Collaborative Forest Management (CFM) window and entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to develop an ecotourism centre in forest compartment NO. 211 near the griffin falls in Mabira forest.
- Constructed 1,000 low carbon energy saving stoves in four parishes of Najjembe sub county with financial assistance from Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO) , Forestry Department and National Environment Management Authority.
- Established and maintained a tree nursery for agro forestry tree species (50,000) seedlings, which have been distributed to communities, and schools in Najjembe sub county.
- Partnered with Uganda Women Welfare Association (UWOWA) and implemented Mabira Conservation project involved in tree planting, supporting agriculture through supply of Improved seeds of mangoes and avocadoes, goats, pigs and other income generating activities.
Established two community woodlots in Kinoni and Buwoola one is pure stand while the other is mixed stand.
- Implemented National Agricultural Advisory Services [NAADS] i.e. farmer institutional development and participatory planning, that involves, farmer group formation and capacity building in lower farmer institutions, the activity resulted into 76 and 82 farmer groups formed in Najjembe and Buikwe sub counties.
- Partnered with the Gyelloba, Dutch Company under the (Cool region) project involved in sustainable agriculture and tourism, the partnership resulted into the Mabira forest lodge and later the Rain forest lodge in Mabira forest one of the first class tourism facilities in Mabira , Najjembe Sub County.
- A partner with the Uganda National Health Consumers organization (UNAHCO) funded by the World Bank through Ministry of Health and implemented the Community Score Card Program aimed at sensitizing communities on the health user rights in Najjembe( HCIII) in Buikwe district and Namuganga (HCIII) in mukono district.
- MAFICO has built a resource center that houses the organization main offices in Najjembe sub county, clearly sigposted,100 metres off the kampala-jinja highway on the loose surface road towards the Mabira ecotourism centre.
- Mafico with technical support from the National Forestry Authority and financial support from UNEP, micro grants program, the Nile basin initiative and the UNDP/GEF/SGP developed an ecotourism centre in wasswa village, here referred to as the griffin falls campsite or the Mabira camp.
- Community ecotourism activities,
- Collaborative forest management,
- Environmental education in Schools and communities,
- Nursery management for income generation,
- Health education at our health centres.
- Tree Planting activities (Enrichment tree planting and on farm)
- Hand crafting materials identification, designing , marketing and training
- Teaching in nursery, Primary and secondary schools (including academic subjects and life skills, and organize sport and art activities for the children.
- HIV/AIDS and counseling activities.
- Research under graduate and post graduate.