KIGALI – It has been revealed that government loses over US$2.6m annually due to tree felling by 80 percent of the country’s families who use firewood as fuel.
Speaking during a live telecast on Sunday, the Natural Resources Minister, Stanislas Kamanzi, said that tea factories in the country are the second in cutting down trees which puts the country in a serious danger of deforestation, in the absence of counter measures.
According to Kamanzi, the loss incurred is valued at 5 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
The town hall style meeting was held to brief the public on the forthcoming National Tree Planting campaign slated for November 13 to 21.
The campaign is set to be launched on, November, 16, in the Western Province District of Nyabihu.
According to a statement, 26 million trees are expected to be planted countrywide on 145,000 hectares of land, however, so far only 650,000 trees have been planted.
According to the 2020 vision, 30 percent of the country’s land which is not covered with water should be planted with trees.
“This is all because the development we are aiming at may not be accomplished if we don’t protect the environment,” Kamanzi said.
He further said that strategies are in place to protect the forests and national parks that are shared between Rwanda and her neighbours; Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The official in charge of the campaign, Jean Claude Nyamarere, said during the meeting that 70 percent of the trees planted last year have matured.
Eastern province was reported not to have fared well in this year’s campaign.