- The Rwandan government is to implement a new environmental management support project, which aims at drastically reducing the deforestation rate and start reforestation. Deforestation has become a large problem in the densely populated country.
The environmental management support project today was guaranteed external financing by the African Development Fund (ADF), which has approved a grant amounting to US$ 1.4 million. The ADF grant, which covers the entire foreign exchange cost, will finance 91.7 percent of the entire cost of the project. On its part, the Rwandan government will contribute with the rest of the project's cost.
The environmental project's objective is to contribute to sustainable management of natural resources and better protection of the environment. More specifically, the project aims to build Rwanda's institutional capacity for environmental management.
The project will contribute to raising the living standards of the population by bringing the deforestation rate down to 15 percent and increasing the reforestation rate to 20 percent after having being in effect for five years.
- This is significant in the sense that with the massive return of Rwandans from neighbouring countries, forest resources were destroyed for farming and grazing, and for utility and firewood, according to the project's description.
Accordingly, the project was to diagnose the environmental situation, put in place an environmental information system and train staff of the structures responsible for the environment, the Directorate of Environmental Protection, in particular.
The project would target these goals by building the institutional capacity of the Directorate of Environmental Protection, training its professional staff in the process and providing equipment and technical assistance. The project will also create a database system equipped with an environmental information and statistics system (SISE).
Rural and are in particular, professional organisations, women's associations as well as individual producers are believed to become the main beneficiaries of the project. They would benefit from a more effective supervision from state departments and organisations through training and sensitisation workshops, according to the ADF.
In addition, the government departments in charge of environmental management, especially the Directorate of Environmental Protection and the Ministry of Land, Resettlement and Environmental Protection also were to benefit from project activities.
- A better management of Rwanda's environment will no doubt be relevant to women especially in agricultural production, small-scale farming, fetching of fire wood, hygiene and sanitation, crafts, and sensitisation of the population through associations and women's NGOs, according to the ADF.
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