KINIGI - A group of veteran soldiers yesterday inaugurated 400 cubic metre gabions along the Rwebeya water channel to avert floods emanating from the Virunga Mountains.
The Rwf 60 million initiative that is wholly funded by the Ministry of Natural Resources, was constructed over a period of two months in partnership with local residents.
The gabions are aimed at checking flood waters brought about by heavy rains which have, in recent times, caused havoc in the area, including claiming lives.
“The floods from Virunga Mountains, especially Sabyinyo, have been the biggest threat to our lives and crops. Many people have died because rains in the Virunga are not predictable. The gabions will save us from the heavy rains,” observed Agnes Uzamukunda, a resident of Kinigi.
Natural Resources Minister, Stanislas Kamanzi, said that the initiative would be complemented by other mitigating measures, especially terracing on hill sides, planting of vegetation, especially bamboo along the river banks.
“All households whose property is adjacent to the streams in this area should plant trees, shrubs, and terraces to control the floods,’’ Kamanzi said.
The gabions, which were constructed using volcanic stones along the water streams, and covered with metallic wires, will check the speed of water flow from the mountains and stop water from overflowing into settlement areas.
The RDF Chief of Reserve Force, Lt. Gen. Fred Ibingira, commended the reserve force for the commitment and hard work shown during the construction of the gabions.
He urged the force to collaborate with residents in ensuring security.
“Security is a cross-cutting issue, which RDF, is committed to promote. We appreciate your commitment,’’ Ibingira observed.