MUSANZE—The Volcanoes National Park in one of Rwanda’s tourist attraction and tourist do not only enjoy the nature but also the life of Rwandans living around the park seems to be extraordinary.
Visiting tourists intend to interact with area residents and buying their crafts while admiring the natural beauty around the villages.
However residents claim that to live peacefully around the park requires someone to fight with animals that frequently attack them.
Residents also claim that they have tried to obey the park rules but allege the park authorities for not controlling animals from attacking locals.
The continual invasion of animal has made locals spend sleepless night trying to protect themselves and the crops from being attacked and destroyed by animals from the park.
During the night, residents guard their crops from against buffalos and antelopes while during day they still guard their crops from thieves that come from the neighbourhood.
“We have a problem of animals that destroy our crops every night, if we want harvest, then we have to spend sleepless nights and protect our crops, sometimes we sleep in shifts,’’ said Serafia Serukato.
He also said that park authorities do not compensate them after being attacked by animals from the park and that residents have tried to fence the park but sometimes animals do break into their plantations.
“When animals attack us, we use drums, they usually attack at night and sometimes kill people,” said Serukato.
Another resident, Sebatware said that residentssometimes use traps to kill the animals.
He also said that the Rwanda office of Tourism and National Parks (ORTPN) has promise to provide a solution to the issue.Water problem.
Another alarming issue around the park is lack of clean water; residents said that their water dams are drying up.
Residents claims that authorities have denied residents access to wells in the park.
However, residents say that water reservoirs constructed by ORTPN have dried up because of poor maintenance.
An official from the National Park authorities Justin Rurangirwa said that residents need to be educated on the importance of the park to their community.
He added that a wall was constructed in 2003 around the park for protecting both animals and people in the area.
Rurangirwa also said that residents have failed to maintain the wall and that this has led to insecurity in the area.
He added that residents have been provided with bee-hives while traditional healers have been given seeds of their herbs.