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Story Publication logo August 9, 2022

DRC: These are the Medicinal Forest Products that Indigenous Peoples are Afraid Will Disappear One Day (French)



This story excerpt was translated from French. To read the original story in full, visit Greenafia. You may also view the original story on the Rainforest Journalism Fund website here. Our website is available in English, Spanish, bahasa Indonesia, French, and Portuguese.

Image by Greenafia. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2022.

Until today, to access certain products, the forest peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo can only be satisfied with gathering and collecting. They are not yet cultivable. However, among these non-timber forest products (NTFPs), there are those that have proven therapeutic virtues and that are threatened with extinction due to the misuse of the forest. Hervé Mukulu and his team looked into these challenges to preserve the treasures of the forest. A report produced with the support of the Rainforest Journalism Fund in partnership with the Pulitzer Center.

It is about nuts, leaves, roots, stems, seeds, fruits, barks, which are consumed raw, cooked, ground, infused for a reason.

Gerome K, in his fifties, explains that he regularly takes tea made from kola nuts mixed with other forest essences for a major reason.

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"It is very beneficial for health, it makes the body strong especially in this time of diseases," he said.

He is complemented by his friend, "It controls the pancreas, the whole body, controls the risk of diabetes, it also gives strength."

For about ten years, every morning, before going about their daily business, they come to consume one or two cups of this tea at the Oicha traffic circle, a place eponymous to this city, located in the north of the province of North Kivu, in the east of the DR Congo.

Several products on a stall in the central market of Bunia. Murondo (Mondia Witei), Ngolio (Cola acumnita), Kadika (Garcinia Kola). Image by Picard Luhavo/Greenafia. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2022

A kind of tea made from Ngongolio, Ngbako, ketsu, murondo and other forest products. Image by Jackson Sivulyamwenge/Greenafia. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2022.

Image by Greenafia. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2022.

Image by Greenafia. Democratic Republic of Congo, 2022.


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