Located in the Bambio sub-prefecture between the Mbaéré and Bodingué rivers in the south-western corner of CAR lies the Mbaéré-Bodingué National Park. Created in 2007 and managed by the Ministry of Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing in the framework of Forest Ecosystems in Central Africa (ECOFAC) programme, the Park's 86,690 hectares comprises various ecosystems including rainforest, lowland floodplain forest and savannah. These habitats boast a large array of fauna including a number of ‘iconic' species such as elephant, buffalo, gorilla, chimpanzee, and hippopotamus as well as over 400 species of birds. There are also around 70 forest communities with a combined population of 20,000 in the area, some of which - including the village of Mbakoro - actually lie within or on the boundary of the park itself.
The main ethnic groups present are the Bolemba, Mbati, Boffi, Banda-yanguéré, Pandés, Ngoundi and the indigenous BaAka, who make up a sizeable minority. Community livelihoods, particularly those of the BaAka, are inextricably linked to the forest, with people spending up to several months at a time in the forest to carry out subsistence activities or to visit sacred sites. The local economy is based on hunting, fishing, agriculture, artisanal mining and the harvesting of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as raffia, fruit, nuts, honey, wax, palm wine, mushrooms and caterpillars.
BANGUI, Central African Republic/DAKAR, Senegal 5 March 2014 – Just ahead of the onset of the rainy season, which increases the risk of water-borne diseases like cholera, UNICEF and its partners have restored safe and chlorinated drinking water for more than 183,000 displaced people across the Central African Republic