Rwanda Environment Management Association [REMA] yesterday started a three-day training workshop on environmental protection for district leaders of Kicukiro, Gasabo and Nyarugenge.
The workshop themed, “Trainers of Trainers” is in relation to development trends in the country and also aims at using the leadership at district level to set the precedent on protecting the environment and also sensitize the rural population.
“We expect after this workshop that those trained will be able to guide government projects during implementation so that the environment is safe guarded. They are also expected to reach out to those in the rural areas,” said Alex Mulisa, REMA National Project Manager who was also one of the trainers.
Kicukiro District Environmental Officer, Jacques Hakizimana, said that there is dire need to sensitise rural dwellers on environmental protection.
“The farmers don’t mind about the environment. They selfishly exploit land and get short term benefits and don’t plan for those that will use it after them. They need this training,” Hakizimana underscored. He, however, also noted that the rate at which trees were being cut down in his district had dropped.
Charles Bakwatsa, one of the trainers, during his lecture warned that failing to plan for the environment spells long term effects on the ecosystem and developmental plans.
“You should integrate environment plans into development plans. If you don’t, you are affecting the long term plans,” Bakwatsa said.
He also said that through the training, they should be able to monitor and evaluate the protection of the environment in implementing development projects.
Similar workshops started early October this year and have so far been conducted in the Northern, Western, Southern and Northern provinces with focus on districts. They will end with the Eastern province.