Rwandans marked World Wetlands Day on Friday by holding a special end of month community work commonly known as “Umuganda” at Rugeramigozi marshland in Muhanga District.
In line with this year’s theme, which looks at the interdependence between wetlands and agriculture, residents were told how Rwanda owes a significant percentage of its food security to wetlands.
Rugeramigozi is a strategic location because farmers can apply best practices of how wetlands can be effectively utilised without negatively changing their ecological character.
In recent years, Rwanda was recognised for its achievement in environmental conservation & protection for the restoration of Rugezi-Burera-Ruhondo.
Alphonse Munyetwali, Governor of the Southern Province, encouraged farmers to maximize productivity to improve from four tonnes per hector to 10 tonnes. “I encourage you not to wait because you have what it takes.”
In her remarks, Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority encouraged farmers to apply best practices. “These wetlands are natural gifts to us, we should learn how to maximize what we get from them but also conserve them for sustainability.”
She advised farmers to work with agronomists who could provide proper technical guidance.
Rugeramigozi marshland covers an area of 120 hectors employing over 1300 farmers of whom 80% are women working under “Inkoranyamusaruro Koperative”. Crops grown in this swamp include rice, beans and maize.