By Michel Nkurunziza.
Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority (RWFA) in conjunction with Water for Growth have re-committed to protect Nyabarongo river catchments so as to sustain benefits it brings to the community.
Under different projects to protect the river, 1,121 hectares of Nyabarongo’s river catchments in Muhanga and Ngororero districts are supposed to be rehabilitated by applying terraces, agro-forestry and afforestation as well as promoting sustainable mining according to officials.
According to Francois Tetero, the Head of Water Resources Management Department at Rwanda Water and Forestry Authority, joint efforts from all stakeholders would help turn again Nyabarongo into clean water.
“We are designing a six year plan for rehabilitating Nyabarongo catchments with a budget that will help in the projects implementation. We also have partners such as Water for Growth that has been funding some projects to protect the catchments,” he said.
He said protecting the river is a drive for ensuring enough water agricultural irrigation projects, water processing industries and suppliers, hydropower projects and other ones that need water use permits.
Water for Growth Rwanda support intervened in four demonstration catchments, namely Muvumba in Eastern Province, Upper Nyabarongo, Nyabugogo in Kigali City and Sebeya in Western Province to pilot governance framework, develop land and water management solutions.
Officials say degrading Nyabarongo River could pose negative impact on Nyabarongo hydropower reservoirs.
912 hectares of 1,102 that occupy Nyabarongo catchments have been rehabilitated so far with terraces and afforestation, modern mining and buffer zones protection under the support from Water for Growth’s projects.
Government and Water for Growth is running a four-year project to improve effective management of water which is supported by Netherland Embassy.
Through the catchments, the project creates a mechanism for practices, learning and demonstrating approaches with the objective to raise the capacity for better water management and good practices of the Integrated Water Resource Management.
“We are going to set rehabilitation plan for Sebeya River catchment to avoid disasters such as flooding related to it,” Tetero added.
On 22nd of March 2018, Rwanda will join the rest of the world to celebrate the 25th World Water Day.
The World Water Day celebrations include a week-long campaign that started from 18 – 24 March 2018, featuring activities to raise awareness about water resources management.
Michel Nkurunziza @theinspirerpubl