Partnering with Local Stakeholders to Protect Lake Cyohoha Buffer Zone

Under WACDEP Project, GWPEA works together with local populations in Bugesera to protect lake Cyohoha buffer zone by planting conservation and fruit trees along the lake shorelines.

On 09 March 2016, the GWPEA Regional Program Manager and the Regional Development Communications Officer held a meeting with Representatives from MINIRENA, RNRA, Bugesera District and  Kamabuye Sector at the Mirror Hotel in Kigali.

 The meeting was chaired by Mr. Tetero F. Xavier in his capacity as the Chair of the Rwanda Country Water Partnership and the Director for Water Regulation at the Rwanda National Resources Authority. He welcomed all participants and stressed the importance of such meetings as they enable partners to exchange views on WACDEP implementation and harmonize their approaches to make it successful and impactful.

 The meeting examined the status of WACDEP implementation and noted that it nears its end and the District/Sector/local communities are prepared to take over and maintain the activities. It also noted that MINIRENA as line Ministry has been involved in the implementation process, especially in the capacity building component. On this note, the meeting recommended that GWPEA formalizes the hand-over to local authorities before June 2016 and ensures that MINIRENA is continuously informed of the progress.

 The meeting also noted the appointment of a District Focal Point for WACDEP as well as the establishment of the community committee for the management and ownership of the buffer zone.

 Participants also analyzed the planned activities and budget allocated and agreed on priority activities. All these activities must be implemented before June and requires close collaboration between GWP, CWP and local communities. Activities include: stakeholders’ meetings, media trainings, tree planting, delimitating the buffer zone, documentation, etc… It was agreed that the CWP could hire an intern to help with these activities since there is no more WACDEP management team in Rwanda.

 After the meeting, the Regional Communications Officer proceeded to the field to support and document the planting of 10 000 seedlings in the buffer zone as well as the delimitation of the buffer zone, an area covered of  approximately 20 ha. All these activities were carried out by local communities with an active involvement and supervision of district and sector technicians.