NYABIHU - The Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi has called upon Rwandans to actively participate in planting trees and ensure proper management of the existing forests.
He said this yesterday while officially launching the tree planting week in Nyabihu district Western Province, an area that covers the nearly-extinct Gishwati natural forest.
“Trees should be planted in every area deemed fit, along roads, rivers, swamps and every district should have a plan on forest conservation by engaging residents to ensure the security of planted trees,’’ Kamanzi said.
On the first day alone, trees were planted on an area that covers 46 hectares.
The minister cautioned residents surrounding Gishwati forest against grazing their cattle from forested areas and cutting down the trees saying it is time to ‘cover the bare hills.’
Government recently relocated over 300 families from Gishwati forest in order to avert environmental degradation and start re-forestation which check on soil erosion and flooding.
Rwanda is one of the countries reported to have fewer forested areas, with only 545000 ha (20%) of forested land.
The district mayor, Jean Damascene Ndagijimana said that his district has set a target of planting trees on over 2000 hectares on land.