The rehabilitation of Northern Lake Cyohoha in Ngeruka Sector in Bugesera District will not only curb environmental impact but also economically develop the people surrounding it, said Dr Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Natural Resources.
He was speaking yesterday shortly after participating in community work (Umuganda) with Bugesera residents who planted about 4,000 bamboo seedlings 50 meters from the lake to protect it and its ecosystems from degradation caused by human activities and erosion.
“The rehabilitation is for environment conservation and enriching you.
“The bamboos will also add wood processing value. Uprooting hyacinth employs you, so save and spend the money in income generating activities for your future,” Biruta told residents. He added that the lake had dried up due to human activities and water hyacinth that also posed threats to marine ecosystems like fish. The target is to plant 28,000 bamboo seedlings on 95 hectares around Northern Cyohoha Lake.
Dr Rose Mukankomeje, Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority, said water hyacinth had already been uprooted on 180 of the 600 hectares. She said the hyacinth was being processed to produce manure.
The lake connects people from sectors of Ngereka, Mareba, Musenyi and Mayanga. The rehabilitation project started last year with a Rwf300 million budget. Officials say more than 800 people got jobs from the rehabilitation activities.
“I am employed to uproot hyacinth. We get paid Rwf3,000 per day. I bought a plot of land worth Rwf200,000 and built a house worth Rwf250,000” said Pascal Semana. Theogene Kavubi said he had no hope to keep cows but smiled when the project emerged.
“After three months working I bought a cow.” he said.
Officials said other projects that will be started in the region next year include a small scale irrigation system, a modern abattoir, electricity supply and a motor boat.