Local communities get share of tourism revenues

MUSANZE  – As part of the 2010 revenue sharing scheme, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has set aside Rwf 113 million to be shared among park communities in three districts bordering the Volcanoes National Park. Prosper Uwingeli, the Chief Park warden, made the announcement during a meeting convened in Musanze to select the community projects to be financed and chart ways of implementation.
The gorillas are well protected. The New Times / File
The gorillas are well protected. The New Times / File

MUSANZE  – As part of the 2010 revenue sharing scheme, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has set aside Rwf 113 million to be shared among park communities in three districts bordering the Volcanoes National Park.

Prosper Uwingeli, the Chief Park warden, made the announcement during a meeting convened in Musanze to select the community projects to be financed and chart ways of implementation.

The meeting brought together park officials, local government officials representing as NGOs operating in the area.

At least 12 sectors from the four districts will benefit from the 5% tourism revenue sharing programme.

The programme targets park communities along Volcanoes National Park area, Nyungwe, and areas surrounding Akagera National Park.

According to the breakdown, Burera will get Rwf 28.8m Musanze Rwf 29m, Nyabihu Rwf 41m while Rubavu will bag Rwf 14.2m.

 “5% of tourism revenue invested in community projects contributes to sustainable conservation of the park. By this there is ownership of conservation, protection of the park and human induced threats reduce,’’ Uwingeri said.

The Volcanoes National Park which is part of the regional Virunga Massif area is home to the 480 remaining endangered mountain gorillas, which has become one of the leading world tourist attractions.

Community projects established out of the revenue sharing scheme include water collection tanks, schools, cooperatives of ex-poachers and other poverty eradication projects like bee keeping.

“The success story based on revenue sharing process is envisaged in the change of attitude by local communities, well illustrated by the continuous transformation of ex-poachers into strong partners in protection of the park,’’ Uwingeri added.

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