Citizens have to take on best practices to conserve water sources.
The call was made by Stanislas Kamanzi, the Minister for Natural Resources, during celebrations to mark the Nile Day in Bugesera District, Eastern Province on Tuesday.
The day is celebrated annually to mark the establishment of the Nile Basin Initiative(NBI) on the shores of Lake Cyohoha.
NBI covers Uganda , Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Burundi, DR Congo,Tanzania,Egypt, Eritrea and Sudan.
Kamanzi said water conservation was crucial since it would help increase the country’s potential in hydro power production.
“Inter-state hydro power projects like Rusumo have been possible because of good water conservation practices,” he said.
Jean-Pierre Hakizimana, the Country Manager of Global Water Partnership (GWP), an initiative charged with water conservation, said over 10,000 trees were planted on the shores of Lake Cyohoha on that day.
He said plans were underway to get residents around water bodies into co-operatives and start irrigation projects.
Hakizimana noted that during planting, avocado trees were given priority since they will help boost food security.
He further remarked that his organisation had put aside over $ 600,000 to finance water conservation projects between 2014 and 2016.
Hakizimana said tree planting will help the country achieve sustainable development targets under the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) and Vision 2020.
He noted that since some areas lie in dry corridors, sustaining trees requires constant irrigation. Hakizimana further noted that through a similar partnership, water weeds had been eliminated in most water bodies in the country.
Julius Rukundo, the vice-mayor in change of Finance and Economic Development in Bugesera District, said tree planting had helped reduce the aridity of the area.
Rukundo said that a firm had been contracted to plant trees along major roads in the district.
Vestine Akeza, a resident of Kamabuye Sector, said tree planting and terracing had helped improve people’s welfare.
She also spoke of her optimism that her community’s nutrition would improve following the increase of fish quantity in the lake.
Phillipe Muneza, another resident, noted that tree planting would boost fuel security.
“In the future, we see our selves harvesting some of those trees for fuel, as long as we re-plant more,” Muneza said
He noted that the area was planning to mobilise funds for the acquisition of an irrigation equipment to help water their farms during dry seasons.