As part of its flagship programme on livelihoods improvement and in support to the country’s One-Cow-per-family programme (GIRINKA), Lake Victoria Environmental Management Project Phase Two (LVEMP II) a project working under Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in partnership with Huye District today on January 26, 2017 donated 33 cows to members of Imbere Heza Karambi and Twite Ku Bidukikije Twiteza Imbere cooperatives.
The two cooperatives, based in Kigoma and Simbi Sectors of Huye District, are supported by LVEMP II Project. Involved in modern vegetable production (tomatoes, Onion, Egg plants and carrots) both cooperatives- with 100 members combined- have received a total of Rwf 33, 784 542 in grant to implement their activities.
“It is our great honour to support livelihoods transformation initiatives. We believe that these cows will bring positive changes within the lives of beneficiaries,” noted Eng. Coletha RUHAMYA, the Director General of REMA.
“We will continue to invest our efforts and resources in projects that improve community life because human beings remain at the heart of environment. Hence, when human beings live better, the pressure on environment reduces and our natural resources prosper,” Eng. RUHAMYA added.
The cows will provide manure that will be used to boost soil fertility, thus increasing food productivity. They will also provide milk to improve the nutrition of beneficiaries and beyond.
It is expected that once the cows start delivering, the beneficiaries will pass on the heifers to other members of the community thus impacting the lives of many individuals.
Apart from the two vegetable cooperative, LVEMP II also supports 5 other cooperatives involved in modern farming and animal husbandry. All combined, the 7 cooperatives received grants of Rwf 99,717,758. They are involved in modern banana production, pineapple farming, piggery and vegetable production. Members of the cooperatives are mostly owners of land in areas where LVEMP II watershed management activities are implemented.
Supporting communities living in LVEMP II Intervention areas is part of the project core mission of improving the management of natural resources for the benefits of communities who depend on it, as it has been proven that investing in life improvement projects reduces community pressure on natural resources and leads to far better lives. Countrywide, the project supports 53 Cooperatives in 12 Districts.
Noel Maniraguha a resident of Maraba Sector who has worked with LVEMP II since 2013 said the job opportunities brought by the Project has improved his life. Having worked on the protection of Mwogo riverbanks and establishment of terraces on hills overlooking the river, Maniraguha was able to earn money to support his efforts to end poverty.
“I was able to move out of a high risk zone and built a house with a value of over one million Rwandan francs. Today when I go to sleep I don’t fear to lose my life to disasters. Besides, I have also been able to buy a bicycle at Rwf80 000. The bike helps me in transport and sometimes I use it to transport goods and passengers to earn extra money,” he testified. “Without this Project, I wouldn’t have been able to achieve all that.”
LVEMP II in partnership with Huye District has invested over 271 million Rwandan francs in the protection of Mwogo River and areas around it. Terraces were established on 400 hectares, 132,000 agro-forestry and 53,800 fruit trees planted on hillside areas to reduce erosion and improve agriculture production. In addition, Mwogo riverbanks were protected with bamboo and reeds on 45 hectares.
“We call upon residents of Huye Districts and others to continue safeguarding this investments so that they benefit all of us: current and generations to come,” Eng. RUHAMYA observed.
Huye District Kayiranga Muzuka Eugene thanked REMA and the LVEMP II for investments made in the District towards environment protection and livelihoods improvement. He pledged that the District will do all it takes to ensure that the cows - and other investments- are safeguarded and fully benefit communities.
- PICTORIAL: LVEMP II Donates cows to Huye Cooperatives. View Photos HERE