The implementation of the Rwanda National Police (RNP) memorandum of understanding signed last week with the Ministry of Lands and Forestry on environmental conservation, started over the weekend with members of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing planting 30,000 trees in different parts of the country.
The MoU partly specifies planting 27,000 hectares of trees countrywide – 22,000 hectares on agroforestry land and 5,000 hectares in hilly areas.
The tree-planting was part of the official launch of the youth volunteers’ community development and human security activities, marked by Umuganda on November 11. The exercise brought together the police, the army, local leaders and residents.
About 9,000 trees were planted in Ayabaramba in Mageragere, Nyarugenge; 8,000 (16 hectares) in Ruhango; 2,153 trees in Gabiro Cell of Gatebe Sector, Burera; and 6,323 trees in Gashuma village of Nyakagarama in Rukomo Sector, Nyagatare.
The community development and human security activities also involved giving livestock to vulnerable families, and rehabilitating and constructing houses and toilets for them; preparing organic gardens, creating roads linking villages as well as preparing sites where classrooms will be constructed.
Nyarugenge mayor Kayisimire Nzaramba thanked the youth for the spirit of volunteerism, and appealed to residents to plant trees at their homes and keep Kigali clean, green and safe.
She also warned against illegal constructions, which are prone to disasters especially during rainy season.
The youth Umuganda activities will be conducted every second Saturday of the month. According to Jean Bosco Mutangana, who is in charge of training and community mobilization of the youth volunteers who number 200,000, much focus will be put in afforestation and preservation of environment in general, helping poor families, anti-crime awareness campaigns, as well as hygiene and sanitation exercises.