The warning comes in the wake of cases of illegal mining, farming and cutting of trees in Gishwati-Mukura National Park at a time when the government is restoring the forest.
On Tuesday, Police arrested 25 people, who were found in illegal mining activities in Gishwati-Mukura National Park. During the same operation conducted in partnership with local leaders, 13 cows were also found being grazed in the park.
The Mayor of Ngororero, Godfrey Ndayambaje and the District Police Commander (DPC) Superintendent of Police (SP) Alphonse Mayinga, spearheaded the operation which was conducted in the cells of Rutagara and Bugarura in Muhanda Sector.
Mayor Ndayambaje cautioned residents against any acts that degrade the national park.
“This forest is protected from mining, cutting of trees and farming activities. These acts contribute to environment degradation, which in one way or another has an effect on people’s health and the ecosystem, which we can’t allow,” said Ndayambaje.
He appealed to communities residing near the forestry reserves to take the lead to conserve them and report those who encroach on them.
The DPC, SP Mayinga warned of increased operations against such environmental degradation activities and appealed to the residents to report people, who cut trees, rear cattle and extract minerals in the protected national reserve park.
Rwanda suspended mining activities in Gishwati to first restore a nearly extinct forest.