The Secretary General of the Rwanda Red Cross Society (RRCS), Appolinaire Karamaga, yesterday revealed that they intend to plant over 600,000 trees by the end of 2008.
Karamaga was addressing Red Cross field and headquarter workers, and the organization’s partners in a meeting on climate change at the Red Cross Headquarters in Kacyiru, Gasabo District.
According to Karamaga, all local Red Cross branches at district level have prepared nursery beds, with an average of 20, 000 plants.
Karamaga pointed out that one of the recommended measures to preserve the world’s climate is tree planting. He added that human activities cause climate change, citing examples of deforestation and over grazing.
“With our network of volunteers and the great commitment of the Red Cross movement to cope with this crisis, we think we can do more. But, we consider that adaptation is critical in responding to the impacts of climate change and offers opportunities to support development,” Karamaga said.
He continued to say that a big part of the country in the past years was hit by a long drought which mostly affected poor communities who depend solely on agriculture.
Karamaga added that there is need to explore all areas and opportunities to enhance actions to promote food security, good health and prevent other disasters like floods and landslides.
The Director of Environmental Education and the Focal Point of the United Nation Convention on Climate Change in Rwanda, Sebastian Dusabeyezu, said that Global warming with its associated challenges is becoming more apparent with the threat of reducing the potential of natural resources to support livelihoods and development in general.
He added that adaptation to climate change in Rwanda is vital and has been highlighted by its initial communication report, National Adaptation Programmes of Action – NAPA and Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
He recommended tree planting and exploiting solar, energy efficient cooking stoves, peat and hydropower, climate change awareness in schools, government & local institutions.