17 May 2006

Rwanda: NGO for Bamboo Forestry

Western Province — The World Agroforestry Centre - ICRAF is ready to offer the necessary technical assistance to boost the bamboo forestry along the shores of Lake Kivu.The leading global body that transforms rural development through agroforestry, projects to have a three-year plan to cover the shores of the lake with bamboo forest.

This follows a recent revelation by Rubavu District mayor Mr Ramathan Barengayabo, that the district intends to cover the lake shores with bamboo to curb environmental destruction.

But this requires a national, provincial or district plan for the enhancement of bamboo forestry along the shores of Lake Kivu to be in place next month, according to David Kagoro, the representative of World Agroforestry Centre-ICRAF in Rwanda.

Kagoro visited the area Monday, May15, where he presented to Mayor Ramathan Barengayabo, a plan for the multipurpose functions of bamboo woodland. Kagoro underlined their enthusiasm to provide technical expertise to the districts bordering Lake Kivu.

"Our major goal is to transform rural welfare of several Rwandans who largely depend on natural resources through agro forestry. This is work that will conserve the environment and improve on national economy.

Promoting bamboo forestry is one of the key areas we ought to enhance in the rural areas if there is a good framework to ease our effort. That's why we have contacted the Rubavu mayor," Kagoro said.

Asked if the centre is to fund the scheme, Kagoro said, "we are not a donor agency. We only provide technical assistance by training people on how to carry out agro-forestry and provide seedlings to them where necessary."

On his part, Barengayabo underscored that the district is ready to work with any organization that wants to reinforce environment protection in the area.

The mayor observed that the Ministry of Lands, through its Decentralisation Environment Management Project (DEMP), is tirelessly formulating strategies to support local government authorities conduct environmental conservation program.

Barengayabo said: "Your proposal to back us with technical expertise is good. That idea is also shared by DEMP that intends to uphold environmental conservation strategy at local level."

He added: "It would be more important for us when your attempts are coordinated with DEMP. That's when our environmental project and personnel would easily adopt your skills and expertise and make them beneficial for the people."

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