The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Project to Preserve Volcanoes National Park Launched

Officials in the north-western part of the country have welcomed a move by the Association Rwandaise des Ecologistes ARECO-Rwanda Nziza, a local non-governmental organisation set to start activities to preserve the Volcanoes National Park and it is environs.

ARECO is an NGO operating in the area of environmental protection in the north-western part of the country.

Officials said the Volcanoes national park has been threatened by climate change and human activities that may lead to its destruction unless something is done to deal with the issues.

The project will be implemented in Nyabihu and Rubavu districts of the Western Province which are prone to disasters due to the mountainous nature of the region.

It will be implemented in six sectors neighbouring the park. Over the years, National Volcano Park has been threatened by demographic factors, poaching, limited buffer zone, water collection, degradation of the habitat, uncontrolled fires, and diseases among other factors, officials have said

All the said factors have contributed to the reduction in the size of the park.

ARECO Rwanda Nziza has engaged in helping residents in activities that will help fight against the degredation of the park and its surrounding area.

The activities will involve bamboo plantations, trees mixed with other plants, and construction of tanks to help residents get water without having to fetch water from the park.

Residents around the park will also get modern stoves so that they do not go to the park to look for firewood.

The Nyabihu District mayor Addoulatif Twahirwa said the move a sign of collaboration with government and non-governmental organisations, adding it will help residents preserve the environment.

The project is part of a big project that is being implemented by

various organisations dubbed "Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in Congo Basin' Forests" (COBAM).

Over six forests across seven states from the Economic Community of Central African are benefiting from the projects.

A total of Rwf160 million will be used in project implementation.

Dancila Mukakamari, ARECO Rwanda Nziza National coordinator said the project will start next month. She added that apart from environmental protection, residents around the park will be employed in various activities.

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