By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
The Government of Rwanda in partnership with UNDP Rwanda launched a project to help 500 families in Eastern Province to get Biogas cooking energy in order to slow down the destruction of forests for firewoods.
In the Eastern Province of Rwanda, a project was launched on February 16th, to help local communities to use biogas as part of the long-term solution to preserve the environment, fight climate change and take care of the health of the people in rural areas.
According to Officials, the project also seeks to protect local communities from the effects of climate change and help people get out of poverty.
The access to these Biogas facilities will be done in close collaboration with the company called “Homebiogas”. Families with cows are the most targeted by the projects.
The ceremony was attended by the Governor of the Eastern Province, the leaders of Ngoma and Rwamagana districts, the Head of UNDP in Rwanda, the Deputy Director General of Homebiogas and various security agencies in the Eastern Province.
The report of the Auditor General in 2019 showed that the Government of Rwanda provided a subsidy of Rwf 300,000 for each household that wanted to use Biogas, but the research in 2019-2020 showed that at least 77.7% still use firewood for cooking while 17.5% use Charcoal and 4.2% use gas or Biogas.
Biogas is one of the most promising ways to reduce the amount of energy that is harmful to the environment.
The Rwandan government continues to work closely with partners so that the number of people using wood and charcoal will slash down to 42% by the year 2024.
The Governor of the Eastern Province Emmanuel K. Gasana said that they are happy to take care of the climate and preserve the environment by using biogas in Rwanda, thanks to the good collaboration with partners such as UNDP.
The Eastern Province of Rwanda is one of the parts most affected by the effects of climate change due to the scarcity of forests.
The head of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Rwanda, Maxwell Gomera, thanked the Government of Rwanda for providing cows to the people and Homebiogas partners in continuing to protect the environment and change the lives of the people in Rwanda.
He said that Biogas is the solution that was needed to protect the environment because it helps to avoid cutting down trees and wasting time to look for wood while domestic animals can help better.
In addition to the UNDP project, the Rwandan Government through Rwanda Forestry Authority in collaboration with IUCN Rwanda and Enabel, the Belgian development agency, are implementing another project called TREPA, (Transforming Eastern Province through adaptation) that will help the province deal with climate change and improve the livelihood of the population.
The project which came as a result of the agreement signed between IUCN and GCF, intends to restore over 60,000 ha of drought-degraded landscapes into climate resilient ecosystems through re-forestation, agroforestry, restoration of pasturelands, and erosion control measures in 7 districts of the Eastern Province of Rwanda, namely Kirehe, Kayonza, Gatsibo, Rwamagana, Nyagatare, Ngoma as well as Bugesera districts.
The project will promote improved clean and efficient cooking energy technologies to more than 100,000 households in the Eastern Province of Rwanda. It will also develop climate resilient markets and supply chains to incentivize public and private investments in forests, increase the capacity of communities to renew and sustainably manage forests and agroforestry resources, and support smallholder farmers to adopt climate-resilient agriculture.
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