Local leaders criticised over environmental conservation

KARONGI - Local leaders of the seven districts of the Western Province have been blamed for not doing enough to promote environmental protection. Vénuste Rugigana, an official in charge of soil conservation at the Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), said area local leaders need to step up soil erosion control activities.
RADA’s Venuste Rugigana (R) chatting with Western Province Executive Secretary Paul Jabo on Wednestday. (Photo: S. Nkurunziza)
RADA’s Venuste Rugigana (R) chatting with Western Province Executive Secretary Paul Jabo on Wednestday. (Photo: S. Nkurunziza)

KARONGI - Local leaders of the seven districts of the Western Province have been blamed for not doing enough to promote environmental protection.

Vénuste Rugigana, an official in charge of soil conservation at the Rwanda Agricultural Development Authority (RADA), said area local leaders need to step up soil erosion control activities.

“You have failed to prioritise the fight against soil erosion as one of the major ways of protecting the environment. Farmers are also not doing enough in this regard,” he said.

He was addressing district leaders and local agricultural officials who had turned up for a consultative meeting at the provincial headquarters on Wednesday.

Rugigana regretted that there was poor adherence to ownership of government programs which was why deadlines were never observed.

“You had been given until the end of this month to have put up mechanisms necessary to control soil erosion but this could not be achieved without making it a priority,” he added.

Provisional statistics from RADA indicate that Nyabihu district has continuously been slow in implementing measures against soil erosion while Ngororero and Rubavu districts have emerged best in the process.

Provincial Executive Secretary, Paul Jabo, says unless concerted efforts are applied, soil erosion will remain a challenge in the region.

“Unless we all actively work together, our region will continue to lag behind in terms of environmental protection. This is a major setback on the population’s economic development,” he said.

Jabo noted landslides, which have previously led to death, could be avoided with proper conservation mechanisms in place.

Most local leaders and district agricultural officers have attributed the poor performance in soil conservation and environmental protection to the unfavourable topography of the region.

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