The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has cautioned the public against encroaching the country’s national parks and felling of trees.
According to the watchdog’s Director General, Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, some residents have been cutting trees, especially Bamboo in Virunga National Park, to make furniture which she said is dangerous.
“We realized that people who surround these areas use the forests for commercial purposes, especially making furniture and construction of houses; this has had a bad impact on our forests,” she said in an interview.
Meanwhile, last week, REMA provided 27 bricks making machines and 27 machines for making tiles, which aimed at assisting the residents so that they stop depending on forests.
Beneficiaries reside in Rusizi, Nyamasheke, Karongi, Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe (around Nyungwe National Park (NNP) and Musanze (around the Volcanic National Park).
The tile machine can make up to 1,250 roofing tiles a day while the brick machine can make up to 300 bricks with three people operating it.
Over 54 people from the beneficiary districts were trained in Kigali how to operate these machines, last week, by Vision Appropriate Technology Company.
The REMA boss observed that the project will not only help in availing construction materials, but also boost poverty eradication in the areas.
The project is implemented by Protected Areas Biodiversity (PAB), a project under REMA. It’s supported by Rwanda Development Board.