Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network (RCCDN) have engaged youth community to remove plastic waste from Gikondo wetland as it moves to the next phase of its restoration. The initiative, which marks the next phase of the wetland's restoration, saw more than 250 youth gather for a community-driven event, Umuganda, on August 25, 2023 to clear the wetland of various forms of wastes. ALSO READ: Gikondo industrial zone to be vacated by March Martine Uwera, the Programme Manager of Environmental Mainstreaming and Biodiversity Management Programme at REMA said that the competent contractor to rehabilitate the wetland among the five degraded wetlands will be secured by end of the year. ALSO READ: Over 20 per cent of Kigali city wetlands need rehabilitation “Gikondo wetland will be turned into recreational area like Nyandungu Eco-tourism Park. We have five wetlands that were polluted and are in need of restoration. They were degraded by human activities and infrastructure such as factories. There are so many plastic waste that were left in the wetlands,” she said. She said that if the wetlands are kept under plastic pollution, the blockage could trigger water crisis and disasters such as flooding in Kigali city among other areas. “These wetlands help to retain and filter runoff water from the whole city before flowing into Nyabugogo River,” she added. For several years, Gikondo Wetland has been serving as home to industries, warehouses, garages, and was critically degraded since its establishment as industrial park. Its degradation has undermined the wetlands’ potential to provide water quality and flood mitigation functions. The Gikondo Wetland will see some 100 hectares of previously industrial land rehabilitated to a wetland system that helps to regulate floods, improve water quality whilst also providing an important green space in the City for recreation and tourism according to Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA). ALSO READ: Is Gikondo recreational park finally coming to life? The rehabilitation follows the first phase where part of it was rehabilitated into recreational as pilot by the City of Kigali. Elisee Nzimurinda, the Chairperson of Youth Climate Action Initiative, said that they are playing their role to contribute to the next phase of rehabilitation by controlling plastic waste in the wetland. “We have mobilized over 250 young people to help fight against plastic pollution in the wetlands through Umuganda-community works. The activities will be carried out every month,” he said. The five wetlands in the City of Kigali will be rehabilitated by Second Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDP2).to foster biodiversity and ecosystems services. They include Kibumba, Nyabugogo, Rugenge-Rwintare, Rwampara and Gikondo wetland. The rehabilitation of these degraded wetlands could, directly and indirectly, benefit 220,500 people who are at risk of flooding and water crises. The implementation of Kigali City wetland master plan would generate over $155 million revenues annually according to studies.