MUSANZE – Karisoke Research Centre, an environmental conservation organisation, has inaugurated community projects worth Rwf100 million for communities around the Volcanoes National Park in Musanze District.
The projects, including a new six-classroom block and desks at Group Scolaire de Bisate, and an extensive water system, were commissioned recently.
The water project will serve at least eight villages surrounding the park.
According to Dr. Katie Fawcett, the Director of Karisoke Research Centre, the projects will help to build a critical link between the local residents and the park, in the conservation efforts especially for the mountain Gorillas and the biodiversity.
Karisoke partnered with the East African Children’s Education Fund (EACEF), and Rotary Club International in the projects, she said.
She added that agency has been involved in supporting health, education and conservation education awareness in the area.
Residents around Virunga Mountains, say that they still face a big problem of lack of water for domestic use, compelling them to invade water sources inside the park.
The commissioned water project includes renovation of the Bushokoro water source; replacement of the old pipeline; construction of a new community water tank, with a capacity of 75m³, and installing two rain-water harvesting tanks at Bisate Primary School.
The Government, through a community sharing scheme, under which 5% of tourism proceeds from the park is allocated to park community projects, also last month inaugurated community conservation cooperatives, model village, classrooms and water projects in areas adjacent to the park.
The ceremony was attended by Marie Christine Gasingirwa, Director General in charge of Science, Technology and Research, in Ministry of Education, the Mayor of Musanze District, Winifrida Mpembyemungu, the chief park warden, Prosper Uwingeri, and local residents.