Don Bosco Muhazi: Conservation of Bird’s nests as one of the major activities for Environmental Protection
Every year on June 5, the world celebrates World Environment Day. It is a day when everyone should think carefully about his/her role in protecting the environment the environment for further decisions.
It is also a day when decision makers should inform the public about sustainable programs aimed at protecting the environment and what shall be the public benefits from participating in the environmental protection process.
So far, scientists have shown that afforestation is one of the most important things in protecting the environment, fight against air pollution and climate change impacts.
Recent figures have shown that each year, 51 billion metric tons of emissions are released into the atmosphere. This is the main issue at the time when the world wants to reduce these gases to 0%. This will be possible if the Human Being changes attitudes and actions related to Air Pollution.
This also will require research and discovery on what needs to be done best to meet future aspirations for the good of the planet and its environs among them is humanity. But also, because the goal of achieving 0% of emissions is a long-term goal, in these modern times we should be investing with our nowadays means as we move ahead to make this goal a reality.
In this quest for Zero emissions young people should not be left behind, whether they are in schools, at work or in various aspects of daily life.
It is very important to think of important actions to take in the protection of the environment for the sake of well-being and to combat the effects of climate change.
A close example is Don Bosco Muhazi Technical and Vocational Education Training School which is located in Gasabo District, Gasagara Cell in Gikomero Sector in Kigali City.
Students from this school, a big number of them come from low-income families insist that a well-preserved environment is life.
This is where they believe that however a conservation act can be small but can be useful either in productivity or in changing attitudes towards the importance of the Environment and the reasons for protecting it.
Based on a few examples of their Environment Club activities aimed at preserving the environment at the school, when you visit them, they show you their unique conservation activities such as conservation of Birds ‘nests in the nearby environment.
For them it is forbidden to see the bird nest and disturb it. According to Mr. Jean Claude Ngendahayo, a teacher and head of the Environmental Protection Club at Don Bosco Muhazi, at the environs of the school they have a strong bird sanctuary and provides an example of a large bird nest which everyone can see in the school Centre.
He says this is a small example of the various activities of their Club even though they have not yet had enough resources to be able to do much of the work they are planning and that will benefit the people living in the environs of their school centre.
In the meantime, the club has been using the knowledge acquired from the ARCOS Network’s Eco-School Program.
Ngendahayo said: “As you can see, the activities of our Environment Club are mainly about preserving the trees we have planted, making sure that the flowers we planted are not drying out.”
“We are even now planning to establish a Nursery tree in September so that we will be able to provide trees to the community and so that every student can take the trees to their place of residence and we plan that in order to protect the environment every child will have a tree to plant and take care of until it grows.” He adds
Recently, a Belgian NGO ACTEC announced a hand of support to Don Bosco Muhazi TVET and in activities that will be supported include the Student Environment Club. This means that it will be a trigger for them to step up and expand their Club activities.
Mr Jean Claude said: We also plan to have Nursery trees with many different species. Once we start to getting support, we are also looking at how, if possible, can select one of our most disadvantaged colleagues and give him/her the Solar Energy system which is not costly when you look at the importance it can play in his/her needs in terms of revising the lessons during the night at home”
Mr. Jean Claude says that during their time at the Club, they have been sharing knowledge with the community around, including working with local authorities in community work, such as in the fight against erosion that could threaten Lake Muhazi on the down part of their school.
“The knowledge we have should go as far as possible. When you look at the people around the center, they know this because we visit them often during the meetings, but, if possible, we will visit other schools and start environmental clubs there, as many schools have no environment club” he said.
Why are Environment Clubs needed in Schools?
“As we approach the dry season, there will be people who burn down forests, cut down trees and destroy the environment, and find that they do not fight against erosion and other activities. We need to go to school and educate children about environmental protection so that in the future we will have the Rwanda we want.” Mr. Jean Claude explains.
Do you have enough skills to share with others in Environment Protection?
Mr. Jean Claude: “Given the knowledge we have is not enough, we really need training because we are lacking in capability. When we get the ability, we first train ourselves, and then we go to train others. We would teach them to dig rainwater harvesting pits, give them trees, and teach them to arrange rotten and solid wastes among others.”
What are you planning to do as we celebrate Environment Day on June 5th?
Mr. Jean Claude: “We plan a lot of activities, activities that we will pass on to other students, we will do a variety of cleaning activities, disposing rotten and solid waste; We will be collecting waste to make fertilizers for the vegetables that we have planted and we also ready ourselves for the next forest planting season. We are planning to establish a nursery tree and continue to maintain the ones that we have planted.”
In addition to environmental conservation activities, the club is affiliated with the section for the advancement of Traditional Culture. One can observe that to achieve zero emissions it should be combined with the Natural or Traditional method.
For example, at Don Bosco Muhazi, young people use traditional calabashes to entertain visitors. The calabash are not metals. Their productions do not require the emission from the industrial productions rather they cultivate them in the field and later are processed into a beautiful and valuable tool.
So, this is where they base their belief that environmental protection should go hand in hand with a cultural development program because both are mutually exclusive.