RUBAVU — Several families, part of the group that were recently evicted from the shores of Lake Kivu last week received 31 cows.
The donation was part of the aid given by the Ministry of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water, and Mines towards resettlement of communities that were evicted from wetlands in line with the government policy of environmental protection.
“ It is hard to believe I have a cow in my family, I’m 55 years old but had never owned a cow in my life, I’m so optimistic that this cow will greatly improve livelihood of my family members especially when it starts producing milk,” said a jovial Jean Baptist Muhawenimana, one of the beneficiaries.
Vice mayor in charge of economic development Evariste Bizimana, said the animals are meant to help improve people’s livelihood as they resettle in their new settlements.
According to the Environment Minister Christopher Bazivamo, the recent eviction of all residents along Kivu shores in Ngororero, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Rubavu districts would preserve the lake from encroachers.
Following the eviction of residents within a radius of 50 meters from the water bank, environmentalists have called for planting of grass and trees along the banks that would help in filtering running water before it enters the lake to prevent water pollution.
The district is currently trying to resettle residents believed to be living in bare areas considered to be defenseless to environmental destruction such as near water bodies and elevated hills.
Observers say recent floods in Bigogwe that claimed 17 lives was the climax of continuous degradation.