HUYE – Over 5000 residents are now gainfully employed in the management of Mwogo swamp. The project which aims to protect the swamp and prepare it for agriculture is being run by the district in collaboration with the Rwandan Environment Management Authority (REMA).
A drainage project is being executed on two sites; between Maraba sector and Kigoma sector, with another site in Rwaniro sector. Workers on the two sites who talked to The New Times said the project has provided them with a source of income.
“I have been working in this swamp for six months, I have already bought a bicycle from the little salary I earn here,” said Charles Rucamubyuma, one of the workers.
Widow Dative Mukanagango, 55, and resident of Rwaniro sector said that she is now able to look after her three children.
“I am now able to provide for the needs of my family, I have already paid for health insurance for next year,” she said.
According to Martin Butera, the district land and environment officer, the drainage of Mwogo swamp is intended to regulate water levels at River Mwogo so as to make it more productive for agriculture.
“We intend to embark on intensive growing of rice once the preparation phase is completed. Only residents grouped in farmers’ cooperatives will be allowed to exploit the swamp,” Butera said.
The activities of draining 450 ha of Mwogo swamp is to be implemented in two phases with the first concentrated on technically channeling water in order to avoid flooding, and the second on making terraces on surrounding slopes.