Over 23,000 families living near Nyungwe Park to receive support for better coexistence

By Esther Muhozi
On 5 March 2024 at 08:59

Residents living near the Nyungwe National Park have expressed their expectations for significant development and extraordinary benefits from the project named ’The Nyungwe Agroforestry.’

They believe this project will combat activities that destroy the park, such as cutting down trees for firewood and other purposes.

This was discussed on February 29, 2024, during the official launch of the project, which aims to engage in various activities focused on helping the local community by planting trees mixed with crops. This initiative is intended to protect the Nyungwe National Park and address climate change issues.

The coordinator of the IPFG organization, which advocates for family welfare and will implement the ’The Nyungwe Agroforestry’ project, Faustin Kanani, stated their goal is to provide the local communities living around the park with alternatives to what they previously sought within the park, such as firewood. They plan to plant these crop friendly trees over a span of 20 years.

He mentioned, "We will plant trees mixed with crops, including fruit trees and traditional trees. About two and a half million trees will be planted, including avocados, oranges, lemons, grevilleas, and others, to provide the residents with firewood, timber, branches for bean and pea stakes, and other needs they used to seek in Nyungwe, which led to its degradation."

He also stated that the local residents would be taught modern farming techniques to increase productivity. The leaders of the Nyamagabe and Nyaruguru districts, where the project will be implemented, said it would assist the local communities, including land improvement and terracing, to help them increase their yields.

The Mayor of Nyamagabe, Hildebrand Niyomwungeri, said, "Residents will be equipped with methods for better farming, where their fields will be terraced to increase crop yield."

Adelphine Niyirema, from Buruhukiro sector in Nyamagabe, who runs a nursery for various trees, told IGIHE that she is hopeful for employment as she will be paid for the seedlings she provides.

She said, "I will find work in nurturing the tree seedlings needed, which in itself will provide me with significant income. I believe this project will aid in our development."

The project is expected to cost over Rwf5 billion and will include agreements with the local residents to not harvest the trees before 20 years.