Rwanda Development Board (RDB), in conjunction with Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and the Ministry of Environment and Lands, yesterday made public the programme for this year’s Kwita Izina ceremony.
The Gorilla naming ceremony that is held under the Kwita Izina brand, will be jointly celebrated with the World Environment Day (WED) that will be in Rwanda this year.
The two events will be held on June 5 and they are expected to draw multitudes of world renowned environmentalists, conservationists and celebrities alike.
Addressing a joint press conference RDB CEO John Gara, the and Director General of REMA, Rose Mukankomeje and the Minister of Environment, Stanislas Kamanzi, said that the government has organised week-long activities in environmental conservation in line with the two events.
“We want this to be a national function where every Rwandan will be involved in the activities to mark Kwiti Izina and the Environment Day,” said Kamanzi.
“All the planned activities for the week, including community service (Umuganda), sporting activities like soccer, cycling, Igitaramo and the conservation conference, will involve the masses. We don’t want it to seem like it is the government doing everything”.
He added that this year’s event will be special because people from different parts of the world will be heading to Rwanda for two separate events and that for the first time, environment conservation will be the main focus.
According to Rose Mukankomeje, Rwanda was chosen to host the global celebrations in recognition to the various efforts it has put in place in line with environment conservation.
“The whole world will be coming here to see with their own eyes what we have achieved…they want to know whether we have indeed managed to ban polythene bags and implemented the tree planting projects we have been talking about,” Mukankomeje said.
“Many dignitaries will be coming here, from UN and other bodies. A cleaner environment is what we need to showcase to the world”.
According to Gara, this year’s Kwiti Izina, the 6th of its kind, to be celebrated under the theme “Raising global awareness of biodiversity conservation as we give names to our baby gorillas” will be to celebrate the less than 800 Gorillas remaining in the world.
“As you all know, the Mountain Gorillas are an endangered species, they are only less than 800 remaining in the world. So it is important to celebrate the efforts we have put in place to conserve these beautiful creatures as a way of creating awareness,” Gara said.
He said that the week-long activities will kick off on May 31. “A special thing we have this year is that we are planning to have people’s choices for the names of baby gorillas. We also want to showcase this on Nickelodeon, the children’s channel so that children can come up with the names,” Gara said.
Nickelodeon is a popular cartoon programme on DSTV. He said that this year, 12 baby Gorillas will be named. RDB will also commission community projects set up using the proceeds of last year’s ceremony.
They include primary schools, water tanks, community houses and projects set up for former poachers among others, in the districts of Musanze, Burera, Nyabihu and Rubavu.