Local leaders unveil project to mitigate climate change

Local leaders in Nyabihu and Musanze districts have rolled out a new environmental protection project in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change.
Households located in a marshland in Gashiha, Kicukiro District, with high risk of floods. John Mbanda.
Households located in a marshland in Gashiha, Kicukiro District, with high risk of floods. John Mbanda.

Local leaders in Nyabihu and Musanze districts have rolled out a new environmental protection project in a bid to mitigate the effects of climate change.

The project dubbed ‘Reducing Vulnerability to Climate Change in North Western Rwanda through Community Based Adaptation (RV3CBA) was launched in June this year.

 It  is expected to benefit over 38,200 households from seven sectors of Nyabihu and Musanze districts which are prone to disasters and will cost around $10 million (about Rwf7 billion) 

The project will be funded by Adaptation Fund.

It will involve preparing low lands, valleys and mashlands as well as planting trees on mountain slopes to control flooding.

Some activities have so far been done including the resettlement process for people living in high risk zones, community mobilisation about the project and identification of project beneficiaries, election and training of Project Community Animators and post-harvest and storage systems survey.

Eduard Twagirimana, the executive secretary of Busogo Sector, Musanze District, said residents would use the opportunity to control flooding which normally occurs during the rainy season.

“We are ready to put in more efforts to facilitate the implementation of the project. As local leaders we will do our best to rally residents behind the project,” he said.

Twagirimana was speaking at a meeting in Musanze which brought together local leaders and project managers on Thursday.

 “We started with terracing and local residents are benefiting from various activities. The main activities will involve agro forestry and planting fruit trees,” he added.

Angel Mukaminani, the vice mayor  in charge of economic affairs in Nyabihu, said the new project aims at increasing the adoptive capacity of natural system and rural communities.

“Rwanda, especially our north west areas, have witnessed disasters which have claimed people’s lives and destroyed properties. This project comes as a response to that and we will work jointly with residents to ensure disasters are mitigated,” she said.

Prime Ngabonziza, the coordinator, said the project will focus on three main components, including adaptation to climate change, support for the transition from traditional farming to modern farming and capacity building of local institutions to improve understanding of climate change impacts.

It will scale up effective adaptation strategies at the local level, he said.

Information from the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees Affairs indicates that at least 112 people died, 124 were injured while 3,934 houses were either damaged or demolished and 2,201 hectares of land destroyed as a result of disasters the previous year.

North-western areas are most prone to disasters and are usually affected by flooding during the rainy season, according to officials.

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