DelAgua Team Supports Rwanda National Tree Planting Season
On Sunday the DelAgua team, fresh from the milestone week of the #TubehoNezaMillion stoves celebration, were out in force to support the launch of the Rwanda National Tree Planting Season. Our Country Director Monica Keza, along with DMs and ADMs joined Minister of the Environment Dr Mujawamariya Jeanne d’Arc at this special Umuganda activity. Umuganda takes place once a month, on the last Saturday of each month, 07.00am to 11.00am, when all Rwandan citizens participate in a local community project or work. This can range from litter picking, filling potholes and hedge cutting to painting a local community building and tree planting.
DelAgua has an integral role to play in the reforestation efforts in Rwanda. Rural communities are entirely dependent on woodfuel for cooking and the Tubeho Neza stove uses 71% less wood so it is directly helping keep trees in the ground. We also coordinate stove distributions with tree planting programmes, ensuring local communities have the stoves. There is no point in planting trees if you do not also provide the means to cook which will ensure they do not get destroyed for fuel.
The tree planting event was held in the Kigali Special Economic Zone. Children from a number of local schools took part along with the Ministry of the Environment, the IUCN ,UNDP, and representatives from the diplomatic community.
Various trees species were planted with an emphasis on indigenous trees such as Maesopsis emnii, Sysyzium sp, Entandrophrogma excelsum, Prunus sp and Ficus sur. Indigenous tree species are being planted all over the country now to replace fast growing exotics such as Eucalyptus which have dominated at the expense of indigenous types. These species have a vital role to play in combating climate change and are perfectly adapted to local conditions. They provide a haven for biodiversity, are a source of food, medicines and various wood products, all of which benefit the local communities.
Minister Mujawamariya warned that “In the case of climate change impacts, our forestry will be exposed to more disease and parasites. There is a need to build our capacity in the forestry research to be able to avail resiliency to our communities. The assessment conducted indicated that Rwanda is losing a lot of soil through soil erosion and these impacts negatively, food security, increases disaster risk and pollutes water resources.” She particularly emphasised the vital role of clean cookstoves in saving forestry and added that all households must be using an energy saving efficient cookstove by 2024. DelAgua will complete the Tubeho Neza programme by 2024, providing every rural household with a stove.
The Ministry of the Environment’s ambitious tree planting programme alongside the DelAgua Tubeho Neza free rural stove distribution together form a powerful nature-based solution as the world works towards achieving the Paris Agreement goal of 1.5°C.