Musanze - Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Thursday, launched 52 small and large public water tanks worth Rwf62 million for communities around the Volcanoes National Park.
The inauguration of community projects is part of the activities to mark this year’s Gorilla naming ceremony, taking place today, at the foothills of the Virunga Massif in Kinigi, Musanze District of the Western Province.
At the launch, the COO of RDB, Claire Akamanzi, said that through revenue sharing and support from partners in conservation, RDB is able to implement strategies that would manage the delicate balance between conservation of biodiversity and human development needs.
“We seek to accrue the merits of conservation to the communities around our national parks,’’ Akamanzi said.
The water tanks will facilitate the communities adjacent to the Volcanoes National Park to harvest rain water.
“We seek better livelihood for our people achieved through the growth in tourism revenues which would not be possible without the active protection of our mountain gorillas and conservation of their habitat,’’ Akamanzi added.
Other community projects constructed from funds raised through the past Gorilla conservation efforts include Kinigi Community commercial complex and a Bamboo nursery conservation project also supported by Transboundary Collaboration Secretariat.
“The community projects are a clear demonstration that the tourism sector is a strong instrument for poverty eradication and a mobilisation strategy to involve communities in conserving the wildlife and their habitats,” said Burera District Mayor, Samuel Sembagari.
Residents around the Virunga Mountains face a serious water challenge, a factor which compels them to illegally fetch water from the park.