July 22, 2024

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Sebeya’s previous care plan remains relevant to the smooth progress of catchment Rehabilitation activities-Official

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Official at the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has revealed that Sebeya Catchment Management Plan developed remains very important, highly relevant and valuable technical document that continues to inform IWRM interventions in Sebeya catchment. TOP AFRICA NEWS has exclusively learnt.

IUCN’s Landscape Restoration and IWRM Team Leader, Glenn Raynor, has told this website that the focus in Sebeya has shifted to a community approach, piloting participatory community-level planning and local-level ownership of Landscape Restoration and Integrated Water Resources Management processes.

“The catchment plan is implemented through Village Land Use Action plans (VLUAPs) across the catchment,” he said.

In the past, residents of Sebeya Catchment were prone to various disasters caused by Sebeya River that have claimed lives and various infrastructures in addition to human activities.

In an effort to find a lasting solution to the problems in the Sebeya Catchment, the Government of Rwanda through Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB) in collaboration the International Union of Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and Netherlands Development Agency (SNV) with financial support from Embassy of Netherland Kingdom conducted a study to highlight the urgency of the catchment rehabilitation.

Mr. Glenn Raynor said that since the launch of the new project phase in May 2019 the focus has shifted to piloting a community approach, a cost-effective methodology that empowers the population to actively engage in embedding IWRM to produce Landscape and community benefits.”

It is clear that the methodology selected in the implementation of the Sebeya Catchment Landscape Rehabilitation will be productive and there is hope that the main goal of the project will be achieved.

Landscape Restoration and IWRM measures in Sebeya are being implemented by the Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB) in collaboration with the districts of Rubavu, Nyabihu, Rutsiro and Ngororero with Technical Assistance (TA) from IUCN and SNV.

However, he added that Implementation progress was impacted by unexpected disruptions due to COVID 19 emergency measures but concerted efforts are being made to catch up and deliver in accordance with established timeframes.

The Sebeya Landscape Rehabilitation project aims at increasing livelihoods and conservation benefits in Sebeya & other catchments through restoration and improved natural resources management where Sebeya Catchment is shared between Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Ngororero Districts.

The main tasks of IUCN includes coordination, planning, development of technical specifications, provision of Landscape Restoration and IWRM policy advice to inform decision makers, technical and quality monitoring of implemented measures and provision of capacity building to RWB, Districts  staff and other structures mandated with supporting achievement of IWRM targets and finally knowledge management and documentation to scale best practices and lessons learned in Sebeya to other catchments across Rwanda.

The Government of Rwanda (GoR) has set ambitious targets to become a middle-income state by 2030. This includes a set related sub-targets for water including increased access to hydroelectricity and 100% access to safe and clean water for all.

Experts said that with regards to landscape restoration and IWRM these measures must take into account local and macro level impacts of climate change.

This includes mapping existing and future water needs and uses and ensuring that hydrological modelling is accurate and is kept up to date in accordance with changes to hydrology caused by climate change.

In Nyabishunguru, waterways are protected by grasses and check dams and rainwater harvesting measures (using plastic tanks) have been distributed to different households.

Mr. Glenn Raynor revealed that “the application of nature based solutions through strategic forest and landscape restoration combined with biophysical measures such as improved drainage infrastructure, gully protection, terracing and agro-forestry will be necessary to strengthen resilience but these measures must be designed using the best possible climate change data for them to be effective and fit for the purpose of helping control and dissipate intensifying run-off during predicted heavy rains.”

“At the same time measures will need to be designed to ensure that water resources are appropriately managed to ensure adequate supplies while preventing erosion and destruction of homes, crops and infrastructure by downstream flooding.” He noted

 

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