Multibillion dams to curb floods in Western Province

Next month, engineers will embark on works to construct different dams in Rubavu District so as to curtail severe floods that are caused by the Sebeya River.

The river floods have been adversely affecting the districts of Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Ngororero, all in Western Province.


Prime Ngabonziza, the Director of Rwanda Water Resources Board said that the move will help end floods caused by the Sebeya River by 2022.


“We are going to start constructing dams starting August this year to curb the floods in this area. We shall also build terraces and plant agro-forestry on river catchments. We will solve the Sebeya river floods by 2022 since the project will last three years,” he said.


The dams, he said, will cost almost a half of the Rwf22bn budget earmarked for the whole project.

He said that there are three types of dams to reduce the speed of floods that will be constructed on the Sebeya river catchments.

“The first dam is going to be constructed near Nyundo School that is also prone to floods. We shall also build retaining walls to curb floods in Mahoko market centre and other big dams will be built in February, 2021,” he noted.

To address Sebeya calamities, the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Water Resources Board in collaboration with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and Netherlands Development Organization (SNV) are implementing the Embedding Integrated Water Resources Management project with funding support from the Dutch Embassy in Rwanda across the four districts.

The floods have been claiming lives, destroying public infrastructure like roads, bridges as well as hydropower and water treatment plants, the official explained.

They have also destroyed people's crops across the four districts and beyond.

Rwanda Water Resources Board is also set to establish telemetry stations to monitor the trends or peak flow of rivers, drainages and other flood hotspots as part of early warning systems aimed at minimizing the likely impacts of floods and plan for flood-resilient infrastructure.

Among major rivers to receive telemetry stations include Sebeya, Nyabarongo, Mukungwa, Akanyaru, Akagera, Muvumba and others that usually overflow during the rainy seasons.

Deogratias Nzabonimpa, the Vice in charge of economic development in Rubavu district said that in order to set up infrastructure that curb floods along the Sebeya River, some residents will be expropriated.

Besides dams and walls to curb flood speed, bamboos are among tree species to be planted along the river, he noted.

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