SDGP1014RW Project: Installing Circular Economy in Cyohoha-Rukeri Watershed

The SDGP1014RW project aims to install a circular economy in the Cyohoha-Rukeri Watershed, Rwanda, that benefits all smallholders (uphill and downhill), their representative cooperative ASSOPTHE and the tea-company SORWATHE. The watershed has been suffering from the negative effects of extreme weather events and climate change, ill- adapted water management in peatland tea plantations and outdated farming practices in uphill farmlands. These are causing flooding, droughts and land degradation in both downhill tea plantations as well as uphill farming areas. 

Project activities-overview 

Uphill agroforestry interventions will result in less soil run off and better water infiltration during heavy rainfalls. Downhill interventions include the rehabilitation of the water management system in the valleys, where most of the tea is grown, to prevent the peat from decaying and thus ensure the continued productive life of the tea plantation. Both types of interventions will reduce drought and flooding events in the water catchment area and make the catchment area more resilient to climate change.

All the activities will lead to inclusive water catchment management in which stakeholders relate downhill difficulties to uphill interventions and vice versa and create co-ownership of uphill and downhill problems. The solutions to these problems will result in more tea production downhill and more food, nutrition and income uphill

Main Outcomes of the project

Rehabilitation of degraded peat marshland and surrounding hills will improve incomes and price margins for:
5000 uphill food crop farmers increase  production with 25%;
900 downhill tea farmers have 25% increase in  income;
10 women coops representing 2500 women will have a 25% increase in income;
Sorwathe 20% increase in tea income;
Improved access to nutritious foods and other livelihood resources for female household members, own use /for the local market;
3925 ha of sustainable inclusive water catchment area, including 3250 ha uphill agroforestry as well as 675 ha downhill peat.