Huye, 6th May 2016: The scoping workshop for Upper Nyabarongo catchment that was taking place in Huye district was closed with call to participants to promote activities that will protect water resources.
The remarks were made by the Deputy Director General of the Integrated Water Resources Department in the Ministry of Natural Resources, Vincent de Paul Kabalisa.
During his closing remarks, Kabalisa said that the scoping workshop has provided an opportunity for district officials to participate in the preparation of catchment plans. He also urged for continued other efforts to protect water resources.
“I would like to commend all participants for their great contribution towards preparation of the catchment plans which will enable the government of Rwanda to manage water resources better. However, while the plans are underway, let us focus on the existing opportunities and plant trees. Let us discourage illegal mining and such practices so that we protect our water resources.”
Water for Growth, Rwanda’s Deputy Team Leader, Rob Nieuwenhuis, said that the programme is set to implement a number of studies in the next months to improve the knowledge base for the catchments. He added that after the scoping workshops, collaboration will continue, on regular basis and at important milestones.
“You will be updated on progress of studies, and your feedback on where we go after here is important. We will draft a detailed roadmap on when to meet again and consult the core team to get updates on your priorities,” Nieuwenhuis added.
Participants were urged to go back to their districts and communities and ensure that they contribute to the improvement of Upper Nyabarongo catchment.
During the scoping workshop, participants also elected a team of eight people to constitute the core team of the catchment taskforce for Upper Nyabarongo. Members include Lambert Kabayiza, Vedaste Mpagaritswenimana, Christine Mutezimana, Gustave Nzungize, Jean Bosco Bizimana, Helena Uwanyirigira, Etienne Tuyisabe and Aurore Agasaro.
One of the elected participants Vedaste Mpagaritswenimana, Environmental officer of Muhanga district and the vice chair of the core team, said that water resources are contaminated as a result of human activities. He cited poor agricultural practices as one of the reasons why river Nyabarongo has dirty water.
“As a representative on this catchment task force, I will play my part in sensitizing the population in my district about the dangers of poor agricultural practices. I believe that proper use of available resources is important if we are to ensure sustainability of the resources we have.”
Aurore Agasaro, a representative of the Private Sector Federation in Karongi district also said that the district is so hilly and erosion is one of the main reasons why river Nyabarongo is characterized by dirty water. She added that the measures in place, which include terracing and tree planting, will be promoted to ensure that bare soils on hills are covered.
The workshop was organized by the Ministry of Natural Resources through the Water for Growth, Rwanda initiative. The Netherlands Commission for Environmental Assessment facilitated the workshop.