Extremely high population density in Rwanda coupled with heavy dependency on agriculture of 83.4% exerts enormous pressure on ecosystems and natural forests combined with poor agricultural practices by farmers who have been cultivating in the area surrounding of Nyabarongo river for years pushes Agro Action Rwanda to think on Nyabarongo Watershed Management Project.
The Nyabarongo River has an estimated length of 151.5 km and drains a total area of 8478.24 km2 (8413.75 km2 or 33% of the total Rwanda coverage plus 64.50 km2, a small part of the Southern Uganda). Important quantity of the soil is lost each year though soil erosion and inappropriate use of the soil.
This results and not limited to the pollution of water, destruction of important infrastructures, soil degradation and low profitability of agriculture. To overcome this situation, watershed management project should be implemented conducting different measures such as applying soil conservation measures, effective rain water management, applying modern agriculture practices and community mobilization agriculture extension.
The main objective of the project is to protect the Nyabarongo Watershed by the use of integrated water management and soil conservation practices by the community in the project area.
The specific objectives of the project are
1. Rain water runoff is reduced, infiltration and groundwater (aquifer) increased and flooding in Nyabarongo river avoided
2. Soil erosion control structures are installed, Soil conditions are improved and agriculture production is increased 3. Agricultural activities applied in Nyabarongo catchment are soil protection sensitive
4.The farmers organizations with local authorities using Nyabarongo catchment are able to maintain installed soil erosion control structures. Key stakeholders are mainly Local communities-FOs (user groups) legally registered in Rwanda, Local government authorities (Districts), Rwanda Cooperative Agency-RCA, MINAGRI/RAB and MINIRENA./RNRA. The project will apply the soil conservation measures which will focus on construction of bench terraces, excavating anti-erosive trenches, planting agroforestry trees and shrubs, planting woodland, marshland development, water harvesting combined with modern agricultural practices by trained Farmers Organizations and Associations. Equally, Water committees and Water Users Organizations legally registered will be trained on maintenance of water infrastructures and productivity .
The targeted districts are Nyamagabe, Huye, Nyanza, Ruhango, Muhanga, Karongi, Ngororero, Rulindo, Gakenke, Nyabihu, Musanze, Kamonyi, Nyarugenge,Gasabo, Kayonza, Gatsibo. Finaly; the main project result should be soil conditions and agricultural production are improved, flooding and pollution of nyabarongo river water are avoided and contribution to climatic conditions improvement is a master of this project.