NYAMAGABE – The management of Nyungwe National Park on Wednesday made donations worth Rwf 0.5million to a local environment protection cooperative in Uwinkingi sector, Nyamagabe District.
The donation is meant to strengthen cooperation with the local community in protecting the park.
Norbert Karigire, the deputy director of the park in charge of cooperation, explained that the donation was part of a revenue sharing initiative with local communities neighboring the park.
He noted that helping people around the park to engage in other income generating activities discourages poaching and burning of the forest.
“This donation will help them earn some income apart from assisting in other areas . This, we hope will keep them away from activities that destroy the park,” said Karigire.
François Ntahondereye, a resident and member of the local cooperative, said the donation will further motivate them to protect the park.
“The donation shows how the park is important for us. Donated items will satisfy some of our requirements meaning that encroachment into the parks will reduce substantially,” said Ntahondereye.
Nyungwe Forest National Park is the largest in the country. It also happens to be the largest Afro-montane forest in East and Central Africa.
It boasts of 13 species of primates. There are large populations of chimpanzees, 280 bird species and a network of water falls, rivers and streams vital to Rwanda’s water resources.