Rwf1bn earmarked to combat floods in Musanze, Nyabihu

The Government will spend at least Rwf1 billion on the rehabilitation of Mugogo lowland in Musanze and other areas in Nyabihu district that were ravaged by floods.

The intervention comes to restore gains from multi-billion project in Musanze and Nyabihu districts which was being threatened by floods.

 

Following persistent flooding in the two districts, in 2014 the government started to implement a $10 million project aimed at building adaptation to climate change effects.

 

This was meant to save the lowland on 75 hectares that has previously become a lake due to persistent flooding.

 

For four years until 2018, the farmers had been benefiting from the project with bumper harvests of maize, Irish potatoes, vegetables, sorghum and other crops.

However, last year farming activities were halted as the lowland was again flooded.

The recurrent flooding was due to lack of local residents’ ownership as well as financial capacity to sustain the achievements.

This is in addition to lack of regular maintenance of the infrastructure to control flooding.

It is in this context that government, through the two districts, has again allocated Rwf1 billion to save the area from floods.

Andrew Mpuhwe Rucyahana, the vice mayor for economic development in Musanze District told The New Times that the activities to contain floods involve building drainages and de-silting caves in Mugogo lowland located.

Rwf300 million will be spent in Musanze District and Rwf700 million in Nyabihu.

“The project to revive the flooded area comes with particular intervention which include tackling sources of floods in Nyabihu District which end up submerging this lowland in Musanze District,” he said.

To curb sources of floods in Nyabihu, he said, more trees will be planted, terraces on farms and drainages on roads will be constructed among other activities including rainwater harvesting.

One of the floods sources to be managed is Kinoni River from Nyabihu District that ends up sinking into the caves in Musanze and when the caves are covered by sediments, the water floods the marshland.

On the side of Musanze, at least 20 caves that retain flooding water from Kinoni River must be de-silted while rehabilitation of gullies in the watershed, maintaining the drainage networks and channels leading to the flooding of the area will be carried out under the project.

“We want the project to have particularity. It means even after it closes, there must be ownership of citizens in partnership with local leaders to ensure regular maintenance of infrastructure containing the floods. Farmers must always save part of their income from farming to support the regular maintenance and make the project achievements sustainable,” the official said.

Nyabihu is one of the most flood prone districts in Rwanda. Recent floods and landslides that killed over 70 people prompted President Kagame to visit the area.

A report by the Ministry in charge of Emergency Management shows that a series of disasters destroyed at least 3,117 hectares of crops, 124 roads and 64 bridges disrupting economic activities across the country between January and April this year.

It also indicates that by May over 200 people have died while over 225 were injured.

Over 3,082 houses were damaged leaving thousands of families displaced while 3,227 domestic animals died of disasters.

At least 36 classrooms, one health centre, 12 churches, 10 administrative houses, 13 water supply infrastructures that disrupted water supply in some areas and one market were damaged by disasters.

The extreme weather events also destroyed 61 electricity infrastructures.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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