04 October 2018, the delegation from Kingdom of Netherlands through the Embassy of Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) visited Rubavu District, Kanama site, SEBEYA Catchment.
The main purpose of visiting Kanama site was to appreciate the envisioning of the integrated approach between water resources management, food security and climate change with smallholder farmers at the center and the engagement of private sector, reasons for having both W4GR and HortInvest projects in the same area.
The Sebeya catchment area is one of the four Demonstration Catchment Areas covered by the Water for Growth Rwanda (W4GR) programme. The project’s idea is to showcase how integrated water resources management can be organized in a country like Rwanda.
Sebeya is a Level 2 catchment and part of the larger Level 1 Lake Kivu catchment. Located on the western (Congo River) side of the Congo-Nile divide, Sebeya is one of the most upstream parts of the Congo River basin. Sebeya’s total surface area is 336.4 km², approximately 1.4 % of the total surface area of Rwanda (26,338 km²). The Sebeya River flows for 48 km through the catchment, running in a north-westerly direction from its origin in the mountains to its outflow into Lake Kivu at the town of Rubavu
Kanama is part of the Sebeya catchment area, in which an Early Implementation Project (EIP) has been realised.
The delegation witnessed the EIPs, and had time to interact with community in their respective sector whereby they discussed with them about problems they use to face before the project implementation and how they resolved them.
Land degradation on highly steep soils causes erosion and loss of soil fertility and downstream problems with increased flooding, riverbank erosion, and sedimentation.
Water for Growth project main interventions resides on restoring degraded lands by terracing and tree planting. Due to concerns on the sustainability of these measures, the project is now seeking to organise farmers and to incorporate people’s livelihood such as agricultural production and value chain.
Community representative told the delegation that before EIP implementation they use to face soil erosion problems but due to terraces their lives have improved
“In this area we cultivate Irish potatoes, due to terraces our crops doubled” Said Ruzindana Anthel Chief of Nkomane Village, Kanama Sector
Who in the village worked on this project? Was it only group of people? Only men? Women were involved? Questions from different members of the delegation.
“We benefited from this project, Actually, that is what I was going to tell you, before this project our financial status was critical, some of us couldn’t even pay our health insurance contributions. This project offered equal opportunity to men and women of this community, now we can contribute to << mutuelle de santé >> we have cattle from the salaries given by the project to us” added Ruzindana
RWFA representatives, farmers, representatives from SNV’s HortInvest and W4GR participated in this visit where almost the turn up of 40 people intermingled.
Delegation appreciated the EIPs achievements, discussed opportunities, benefits, challenges faced, way forward as well as the chat with community during this visit.