Mungu Amurinde Jeanne d’Arc, a resident of Rubavu District in the Western Province of Rwanda has expressed special gratitude to the President of Rwanda Paul Kagame for the positive impacts brought by the Sebeya Catchment conservation project.
Since 2019, With funds from the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Government of Rwanda through Rwanda Water Resources Board in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN Rwanda), SNV and RWARRI through community approach across Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Ngororero districts implemented various activities such as radical and progressive terraces, flood mitigation structures, afforestation, agroforestry, as well as providing supporting measures including cows, small livestock, rainwater harvesting, cooking stoves to households and schools, kitchen gardens and Community Environment Conservation Fund (CECF) through Village Saving and Loan Associations, among others.
Recently, the Rwanda Water Resources Board has announced that the problem of flooding caused by the river Sebeya, especially in the sectors of Kanama, Rugerero and Nyundo, has been almost solved after constructing a number of flood mitigation infrastructures such as retaining walls, water channels and dykes that prevent the river from overflowing and activities aimed at directing and slowing down the water movement during the rainy season.
This was confirmed on 18th January 2023 by the Director General of the Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB), Dr. Emmanuel Rukundo who was speaking to the Media shortly after visiting the ongoing construction works of the Sebeya retention dam in Kanama Sector of Rubavu District, in the Western Province of Rwanda.
In her tribute to President Kagame, Jeanne d’Arc who was speaking at Umushyikirano 2023 from Rubavu district said, “I am a resident of Nyundo sector, one of the sectors that has been facing the problem of flooding caused by the Sebeya river. »
She said, “During the rainy season, Sebeya would flood, destroy people’s houses, wash away their crops, kill domestic animals, and kill people.” »
She adds that “The Overflowing of the river also damaged infrastructure, business houses, schools, clinics, the Nyundo Genocide Memorial, etc. »
Ms. Jeanne d’Arc reminded that “When you visited the Rubavu District, Your Excellency President of the Republic, and saw the seriousness of the problem, you sought a lasting solution. »
This resident explained that during the Project implementation “Water Reservoirs have been constructed, radical terraces have been built, trees have been planted along the banks of the Sebeya River to preserve the soil and the river, and walls have been raised to prevent water from overflowing into the community’s crops. »
To conclude, she said that “We, the residents of the Sebeya Catchment and all others affected by the river flooding, are safe, we are happy, we thank you and we promise to continue to maintain all the activities and works that have been done to avoid the danger from the river Sebeya.»
Some flood mitigation and protection structures on Sebeya river include Sebeya lateral dyke, Sebeya retention dam, Gisunyu-Karambo retaining wall, and Bukeri diversion channel.
The Sebeya Project in Figures
Within a three-year period, the EWMR project in Sebeya Catchment (Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyabihu and Ngororero districts) achieved the following:
- Radical terraces : 1,559.73 Ha
- Progressive terraces : 836.37 Ha
- Trenches in forest : 2,818.13 Ha
- Afforestation : 215.68 Ha
- Agroforestry : 730.90 Ha
Flood control infrastructures
- Sebeya lateral dyke (Location: Village: Nkora-Mukondo, Cell: Mukondo, Sector: Nyundo)
- Sebeya retention dam (Location: Village: Kaje, Cell: Musabike, Sector: Kanama)
- Bukeri Diversion channel and flood retention walls (Location: Village:Kagarama-
Kamuhoza, Cell:Kamuhoza, Sector:Kanama)
- 621 Rainwater harvesting (RWH) Tanks to Households (HHs)
- 35 RWH Tanks to Schools
- 860 Cows to HHs through the Girinka Program
- 2,182 Small livestock for HHs
- 154 Kitchen Gardens
- 3,249 Improved Cooking Stoves (ICS) to HHs
- 12 Community ICS to Schools
- 331 Village Saving and Loans Associations (VSLAs) established, with over 6,000 members (of which 58% were women)
- Implementation of value chain development (e.g. maize, beans, potatoes) and agricultural livelihood interventions to enhance food security and local income, enhancing the resilience of local communities to economic and natural shocks.
- Total Males : 16,589
- Total Females : 20,327
- Over 25 technical studies have been conducted, and guidelines and knowledge products developed, and disseminated. These include the Community Approach Guidelines, the State of Soil Erosion Control in Rwanda, Implementation Design of Payment of Ecosystem Services,
- Value chains analysis, Climate-smart agriculture guidelines, Compost making guidelines have been developed.
- Baseline Report food, and Nutrition survey in Sebeya Catchment Pilot village, and Radical terraces and agricultural productivity cost-benefit analysis were conducted.