Minister sets deadline to save Yanze wetland

RULINDO - Lands and Environment minister Christophe Bazivamo on Friday tasked parties responsible to save Yanze wetland to take a quick clear-cut plan of action.
Bazivamo speaks to residents of in Rulindo District on Friday. He was assessing the environmental situation around the source of Yanze river. (Photo/ J. Mbanda)
Bazivamo speaks to residents of in Rulindo District on Friday. He was assessing the environmental situation around the source of Yanze river. (Photo/ J. Mbanda)

RULINDO - Lands and Environment minister Christophe Bazivamo on Friday tasked parties responsible to save Yanze wetland to take a quick clear-cut plan of action.

Bazivamo called for quick and harmonised action to finalise the efforts to free Yanze wetland from human threats in three months.

The threatened wetland, located between the districts of Rulindo, and Nyarugenge and Gasabo in Northern Province and Kigali City, respectively, supplies Yanze town water plant that produces 950 cubic meters per hour.

Bazivamo’s call comes after the set up of expertise taskforce for rescue of River Yanze to increase and purify its waters for Electrogaz’s area water treatment plant.

The team, overseen by his ministry in partnership with Electrogaz, the water and power supplying body, looks at execution of joint plan to help Yanze retain its lost marshland.
The group also supported by the World Food Programme and the ministries of Agriculture and Commerce to limit human activities in to the wetland.

“We are totally challenged by human pressure to Yanze wetland that serves as water reservoir for Electrogaz’s water plant for Kigali City,” Bazivamo said.

He went on: “We are strongly against what is ultimately the destruction of such reservoir. It is a wonderful marshland and definitely the wrong place for unfriendly environmental human activities.”

He urged that the wetland should be protected for future generations.
As part of the required plan discussed on Friday at Shyolongi Sector Council Hall in Rulindo District, part of the wetland is to be strictly protected and homesteads on it be relocated.
If the plan is implemented at least 80 homesteads will quit the wetland and relocate to the adjacent proposed Butare Village settlement at the foothills of Kiboha hill in Ngoma Sector.

This will enable taskforce set to execute the plan, to maintain and transform two water streams of Murindi and Cyonyonyo which makeup Nyanze river, said Deo Nzamwita, the vice Mayor of Rulindo District in charge of Social Welfare.

Nzamwita said other infrastructure developments like feeder roads that connect the area to Kigali-Musanze highway are also anticipated to diversify livelihoods of area residents.
“The idea of building a village settlement is better to try and assure us that area is close to social development,” Fredrick Nzamurambaho, one of the residents to be relocated, said.
The Lands and Environment ministry is already looking at wetland conservation techniques, while Electrogaz vows to provide financial support for the exercise.

“The real outcomes will come when we have to show we are prepared to take a clear cut action necessary to contain human threats to waters of Yanze River,” John Mirenge, the Director General of Electrogaz, said.

He suggested the supply of crop fertilizers to the farmers with wetland-based gardens, and who will be relocated to upland areas, as one way to save the marshland.
Mirenge said Electrogaz is considering buying fertilisers for the farmers that would be affected.

In fact, he wants that to happen as fast as possible if straightforward action was taken.
Mirenge demanded that the assigned taskforce pull together existing wetland conservation actions which were not being translated into reality.

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