On 7th November 2017, the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS Network) and its partner Nature Based Community Enterprises, operating in Bugesera, in partnership with Bugesera District planted 58,219 seedlings (on 36 ha) in Nyagihunika Cell, Rulindo Cell and Kibungo Cell and supported the greening of Gitagata primary school. The plan is to plant 250000 seedlings in Bugesera landscape, Kirehe landscape and Rutsiro landscape in a bid to improve food security and livelihoods in general, while ensuring environmental sustainability.
The seedlings planted include fruit trees (Mangoes, Avocados, Papaya, tree tomatoes, Lemon and orange) and agroforestry trees (Grevillea, calliandra, cedrela, Alnus) and indigenous dominated by Markhamia (Umusave).
“There is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of deforested and degraded land into restoration by 2020; Rwanda pledged to restore 2M Ha of its degraded land by 2020. We are very happy to support this effort by the government of Rwanda and we pledge our continual collaboration in restoration as we combat the climate change and supporting sustainable development”, said Dr Sam Kanyamibwa the Executive Director of ARCOS Network. “Today we planted trees in three sites of Cells including Amasangano area (congruence of Nyabarongo and Akanyaru rivers) where we are working with different stakeholders to restore this special area for the country and make it a better place for tourism activities. We are very happy to see how communities and local authorities took this activity very seriously and we hope to see good results in coming years”, he added.
Maniraguha Dieudonnee, Cash Crop Officer, Bugesrea District is confident that the trees planted will contribute to climate change adaptation and to food security. He said, “We are giving to community members fruit trees seedlings and we are sure this will resolve the issues related nutrition and the agroforestry we are planting will prevent soil erosion, increase soil fertility, provide fodder for livestock and reduce the wind speed that used to destroy houses and crops.” It would take a little bit of time to have the impacts of the trees we planted today but it is important to increase our efforts in reforestation and reverse these impacts from deforestation, Bugesera understands this better," he added.
This activity also involved youth (pupils) from Gitagata Primary school where each pupil pledged to plant and care about at least one tree, either at school or at home. Giatagata primary school planted 300 seedlings in the school yard. Niyigaba Claver, Director of Gitagata Primary school said, “We had a plan to green our school and this is a great opportunity to realise our plan, we are grateful for ARCOS and KOIMIZANYA farmers’ cooperative who developed this nursery”. “We teach our students the role and importance of planting trees and we encourage each to have a tree at school and home to care about,” he added.
Tree planting is one of landscape restoration activities under the on-ground activities of the project entitled “Using Water-Energy-Food Security Nexus to Promote Climate Resilient Decisions and Model Actions in Selected landscapes along Akagera Basin”, funded by Rwanda’s Green Fund (FONERWA) and implemented by the Albertine Rift Conservation Society. The 58219 planted were developed by ARCOS cooperative partners in Bugesera District, namely KOIMIZANYA, KABONYA, KOSUMU, KABAMU and CITMK.