Project to reclaim Gishwati launched

The project to safeguard Gishwati forest has been launched in Nyabihu district. The project will involve conducting activities that strive to protect the deforested areas. The scheme that has been undertaken by Rwanda Environment Non Government Organisations’ Forum (RENGF) will take six months.

The project to safeguard Gishwati forest has been launched in Nyabihu district.

The project will involve conducting activities that strive to protect the deforested areas.

The scheme that has been undertaken by Rwanda Environment Non Government Organisations’ Forum (RENGF) will take six months. 

Speaking to The New Times, RENGF’s Director, Johnson Nkusi revealed that the project will be sponsored jointly by United Nations Development Programme, Netherlands and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA). 

Nkusi said that it this initiative followed the government’s previous study on Gishwati forest that divided the forest into zones with intentions of land sustainability.

The zones included high, low and moderate risk areas.
“We are going to carry out demonstrational activities in each zone which will include planting trees, grass and other kinds of vegetation,” said Nkusi.

Gishwati Forest was partly deforested in the 1980s by agricultural development and in the 1990s during the resettlement of people following the civil war and Genocide.

In the year 2000, some 440 families including thousands of returnees were settled in the surrounding areas by government.

The floods that mainly devastated Nyabihu district are partly attributed to deforested Gishwati natural forest.

Gishwati was once the second-largest indigenous forest in Rwanda, it extended 10,000km early in the last century.
By the late 1980s, Gishwati was about one-fourth its original size.

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