Water, energy and food are essential for human life, but they face constant pressure from economic development, climate change and other global processes. Demand for all three is increasing, driven by a rising global population, rapid urbanization, changing diets and economic growth. In this context, improved management of the interactions among water, energy, and food requires an integrated “nexus” approach.
Recently, the GIZ provided a grant to the Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS) on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) as part of the agreement between the EU and GIZ. The grant will be used to implement a pilot project termed “Enhancing Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus and Climate Resilience along Koko (Rwanda) and Lwiro (DRC) Rivers of the Lake Kivu Basin through Nature-Based Community Enterprises”.
On Tuesday, 11th January 2022, together with partners, ARCOS officially launched this new transboundary project in Rutsiro District. This event was attended by Rutsiro District’s officials, Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB), GIZ and Authorité du Basin du Lac Kivu et de la Rivière Rusizi (ABAKIR) representatives, ARCOS staff as well as local community members.
In his welcoming remarks, the Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs, Etienne Havugimana commended ARCOS endeavors in environmental conservation and community development in Rutsiro. Etienne called upon community’s commitment so that the project will attain its objective effectively. He stressed also the need to enhance community’s capacity to develop income generating fruit trees within the project intervention areas and commended collaborative efforts with District and Sector agronomists.
Dr Sam Kanyamibwa, ARCOS Executive Director, hailed the engagement of both local communities and leaders in contributing to landscape restoration in Rutsiro. Sam recalled to the participants at the event how the project will be implemented and its expected outcomes. “Aside from preserving both Lwiro and Koko rivers basins, the WEFE Nexus project will play a significant role on people livelihoods in the mentioned basins,” said Sam.
Furthermore, this project will establish community groups in each river basin and operationalize the sub-catchment management committees and one community nursery bed functional trees (Agroforestry, fruits species and indigenous species).
In fine, it can be noted that this project is expected to build capacity of local leaders and beneficiary farmers on the concept of Water-Energy-Food-Ecosystems (WEFE) Nexus, Sustainable Agriculture Land Managements (SALM) and Integrated Water Resource Managements (IWRM) and as custodians of project outcomes.