April 20, 2024

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RWB and ARCOS Collaborate for Water Sustainability: Introducing the Innovative Hackathon for Data-Driven Solutions

Kigali, 03 April 2024 – The Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB), in collaboration with the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS), launched an Inter-Universities Modelling Hackathon aimed at revolutionizing water resources management approaches. This groundbreaking event, which took place on 03 April 2024 at the RWB Office in Kigali, marked the beginning of a journey to bring together innovative young minds from various universities in Rwanda, converging their talents in undergraduate and postgraduate programs related to water resources, natural resources management, urban planning, and geography, other related field to tackle real-world challenges.

Dr. Emmanuel Rukundo, Director of RWB, expressed high hopes for the event, stating, “We have great expectations from the innovative solutions and young talents that will be showcased during this hackathon. It is essential for us to harness the innovative potential of our youth to address pressing issues in water management.”

The Director General emphasized on the challenges Rwanda’s water resources face said, “Rwanda’s water resources encounter increasing challenges due to the impacts of rapidly shifting demographic trends, increased demands from accelerated socio-economic growth, degradation rom inadequate land use practices, and the uncertainties exacerbated by climate change, among other factors.”

“We also extend our gratitude to our partner, ARCOS, for their invaluable collaboration and support in this initiative.”

The launch event provided a platform to introduce the Inter-Universities Modelling Hackathon, which will span over a period of four months and will encourage participants to develop data-driven solutions that address critical aspects of water resources conservation and sustainability.

Dr. Sam Kanyamibwa, CEO of ARCOS, emphasized the importance of such initiatives, saying, “Water resources constitute a valuable natural resource for all sectors of our society. However, this unique heritage is in crisis due to overexploitation, pollution, flow modification, destruction or degradation of habitat and invasion by exotic species among others. If trends in unsustainable management of water resources remain unaltered and freshwater species losses continue at current rates, our future is simply compromised”.

“We are committed to contributing to the creation of sustainable solutions that ensure the responsible use of our water resources and preserve biodiversity in Rwanda and at large. This hackathon underscores the significance of collaboration and innovation in addressing the challenges we face in water resources management”.

The objectives of the event are multifaceted, aiming to promote sustainable water resources management, build capacity for talented youth, foster innovation for resilience, and promote data-driven decision-making.

Through this collaborative effort, RWB and ARCOS aim to foster innovative solutions towards resilience, and data-driven decision-making in water resources management together with biodiversity preservation practices, resilience to climate change  and raise awareness through education.  

The Inter-Universities Modelling Hackathon represents a significant step forward in Rwanda’s efforts towards achieving sustainable water resources management practices. By harnessing the creativity and expertise of young talents, the event is poised to drive positive change and inspire innovative solutions to complex water challenges.

Both institutions take the opportunity to thank the Federal Republic of Germany for its financial support through the Living Lakes Biodiversity and Climate Project supported by the International Climate Initiative (IKI).

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