Rwanda launches $18 million environmental conservation and sustainable development project

By Esther Muhozi
On 21 May 2024 at 11:59

The Ministry of Environment has unveiled an $18 million project (over 23 billion Rwandan Francs) that will be used for reforestation, renovation of existing forests, rehabilitation of damaged lands, sustainable agriculture, and improving the living conditions of people in risk-prone areas. These initiatives will be implemented in the Southern Province and Gakenke District in Northern Province over the next five years.

This project was presented in the city of Kigali on May 21, 2024. It is funded by the Climate Investment Funds (CIF), under its ’Forest Investment Program’.

The Minister of Environment, Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, announced that the project will initially use a budget of $18 million, but it is expected to eventually cost $30 million (over 38 billion Rwandan Francs).

She stated, “This project will be conducted in the Southern Province and Gakenke District. [...] From Gakenke to the Southern Province, significant efforts are required in reforestation, environmental conservation, and the restoration of degraded lands.”

“In restoring these damaged areas, we will engage in agriculture, but it will be climate-conscious agriculture [...] The project will initially cost $18 million, but as we expand, it will reach $30 million.”

Other activities in this project will include constructing anti-erosion ditches, creating level terraces, planting mixed-species trees along with crops, and fruit trees, and providing the community with modern energy-saving stoves to prevent deforestation, among other things.

Jean Marie Rusiribana, the Deputy Mayor of Ruhango District in charge of Economic Development, mentioned that this project’s extension to their district will play a significant role in both preserving the environment and enhancing the development of its residents, as it will create job opportunities.

He added, “This will allow the residents to find employment, as you have seen that this project will be implemented primarily in rural districts, where the locals will also be able to find work in this project.”

Vivian Chinyolo, representing the African Development Bank (AfDB) through which the funding was channeled, said that the bank is in partnership with Rwanda in this project, supporting environmental conservation initiatives and promoting the overall development of Africa, as these are the goals of the project.

Among those who attended the event were representatives of international institutions, so that they could learn about this project and later support it.