Rulindo: Illegal miners warned against environmental degradation

On 30 August 2022 at 03:16

Officials from Rulindo District in collaboration mining companies have rolled out a campaign to sensitize on scaling up efforts to protect 116 hectares of land on Mahaza Hill degraded by erosion resulting from illegal mining activities.

The campaign coincided with a community work in the district that saw residents, local leaders, security officials, partners and mining companies joining efforts to create diversions for water drainage and plant anti-erosion trees.

The Mayor of Rulindo District, Judith Mukanyirigira requested residents and mining companies to scale up efforts aimed at enhancing soil conservation.

“Nowadays, we are losing large quantities of soil due to erosion. We call upon land owners to create diversions for water drainage; plant trees and grasses to prevent erosion as it washes away the top layer of the fertile soil,” she said.

Mukanyirigira also urged illegal miners to stop such activities lest they face the law.

“Illegal mining is not only illegal but also puts individuals’ lives at risk. Residents must shun such practices and engage in other income generating activities,” she added.

Some of miners also expressed willingness to take the leading step to prevent erosion and minimize threats to the natural resource upon which a large segment of the population forces meal.

“All these rivers flowing into Nyabarongo through this area have their sources at the bottom of hills with steep slopes. We are building terraces to help us catch the soil and restore the area by planting trees. Fighting erosion is not the work of an individual but rather requires collective efforts because it has adverse effects the entire community,” said Sam Ryumugabe, an employee working with a mining company dubbed Trinity Metals which runs operations in Rulindo and Rwamagana.

Residents from Ntarabana Sector where the activity was held on Saturday 27th August 2022, pledged to scale up efforts to preserve land of the hills to contain erosion.

“Previously, there were no trees planted on these hills. The rain water would often wash away the soil and submerge our crops in farmlands along the banks of River Rusiga. The river also used to wash away our soil during floods. We have owned this problem that we feel motivated to intensify efforts to preserve these hills and monitor people carrying out illegal mining in these areas,” noted Jean Marie Vianney Furaha.

Rulindo is among districts rich in minerals.

Participants of the community work created diversions for water drainage and planted anti-erosion trees.