Yanze River and the area along and surrounding it that constitutes an extensive wetland, has got a reprieve from Lands and Environment minister Christophe Bazivamo. The minister has called for expediting plans to help the area regain its wetland status, free from human encroachment. Yanze is very important to Kigali City’s population, as it is the lifeline that provides them with water.
This water source is under serious threat because human activities have whittled away the river’s catchment area, thereby threatening the very supply lines of water to Kigali City and its environs.
It is not the fact that there is pressure to save Yanze that is remarkable here; it is the manner of saving it that merits comment.
Electrogaz, being desirous of retaining its prize, has committed itself to working with the community in resettling them. It has pledged support in terms of providing fertilizers to families so that they add value to the land that has been allocated them for farming, in addition to other financial support.
This is a commendable and pro-active move that will not only make resettled families happy to move, but also directly benefits the people, as they will not be moving away from rich lands to poor lands, but will have got permanent land in a legal way, with development plans to enrich it thrown into the bargain.
This approach is akin to the one that ORTPN and its development partners are using in communities bordering wild animal habitats.
In order to persuade the human population from encroaching on game reserves where the tourism industry is deriving revenue, or even downright poaching activities to gain a livelihood, such communities are now working in harmony to develop other ways of earning, and are being aided directly so as to dissuade them from poaching game and encroaching on reserves put aside for the said animals that attract tourists to Rwanda.
This government fought so that Rwandans enjoy their rights; it is heartening that our leaders take pains to find fair solutions to otherwise controversial issues by directly involving the people who are affected by the development changes that are being sought for them.