HUYE/RUHANGO - The Minister of Environment and Lands, Stanislas Kamanzi has urged local leaders to sensitize residents on the need to avoid conducting human activity less than 10 meters from the river banks.
The Minister made the remarks after touring Nyabarongo River shores and its tributaries in Ruhango and Huye districts in the Southern Province last week.
Kamanzi went on to commend the conservation activities currently going on along the river banks.
“I appreciate the protection initiatives. The papyrus reeds which have been planted along the shores have grown straight and residents are quite determined to protect them against any damage,” Kamanzi said.
He, however, expressed disappointment with the situation at Mwogo River which is the source of the Nyabarongo, in Huye District.
“At Mwogo River, the situation is not good. The papyrus reeds and other trees planted here did not grow. Along certain banks the conservation policy is not honoured. Local authorities should sensitise residents on the fact that conservation activities are in their interest,” he added.
The Huye Mayor, Francois Uhagaze, pledged to step up sensitisation campaigns on the conservation of river banks, warning that the district will take serious measures against whoever does not adhere to the conservation policy.
“We have already identified some people who used papyrus reeds as fodder for their cattle and they have to be punished. We will sensitize the population but this must be followed up by serious measures,” the mayor said.