Rusizi Hot Springs’ return inspires celebration and conservation

On 28 December 2023 at 07:49

Residents of Rusizi, along with numerous visitors from afar, are celebrating the return of the renowned hot springs in the region, long acknowledged for their healing properties. This revival prompts an urgent call for their preservation to prevent another disappearance.

In August 2020, there was widespread surprise when the residents of Rukamba in the Mashyuza cell, Nyakabuye sector, discovered the drying up of these thermal springs. This news brought sadness and astonishment, especially among those who had experienced the benefits of these waters, well-known for their healing properties.

These springs, present for generations, seemed inexhaustible. The elders, even those aged 70 years and above, claim to have always known them.

The sudden drying up raised many questions. While some speculated about possible earthquakes as the cause, Rwanda Mines, Petroleum And Gas Board (RMB) clarified the situation: this phenomenon was not related to earthquakes but rather to the geological nature of the source and the impacts of human activities, notably the use of dynamite.

Nyiraneza Pétronille, encountered on-site by IGIHE, expresses her joy at this unexpected return. She attests to the benefits of these waters, both for the healing of external and internal wounds, such as renal disorders.

Rwema Emmanuel, another resident, provides additional insight into the drying up of the springs. According to him, a large open channel had disrupted the natural flow of water, leading to its depletion. Fortunately, thanks to the intervention of the CIMERWA administration, this opening was blocked, allowing for a gradual return of the water.

The therapeutic virtues of these waters are widely praised. They are believed to be effective against back pain, renal problems, and even certain digestive disorders.

Facing this challenge, Louis Munyemanzi Ndagijimana, Vice Mayor of the Rusizi district for economic development, emphasizes the importance of sustainable management of this resource.

Discussions are underway with CIMERWA to develop a strategy for the preservation and development of surrounding infrastructure.

The challenge lies in reconciling industrial activities, including necessary dynamiting, with the preservation of the hot springs. The stability of the springs remains uncertain if disruptive activities persist.

Thus, the revival of Rusizi hot springs brings hope and relief. However, it also raises crucial questions about the sustainable and responsible management of this precious natural resource, at the heart of the identity and well-being of the Rusizi community.