On the 8th January 2015, GVTC held a strategic meeting in Goma at the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) office on the issues and challenges for compiling the Regional Database. Participants from GVTC, ITFC/Uganda, OVD/DRC and INES-Ruhengeri/Rwanda attended the meeting and gave their contribution to address those issues and challenges.
The chair ( James, Byamuka, GVTC programmes Manager) welcomed the participants and thanked them for the active participation and commitment they showed in the implementation of the project. He also thanked teams from INES and ITFC for having managed to finish the draft report in due time. They will be peer reviewed by the 3 institutions involved in the study. Crucial progress has been noticed among GVTC and its partners in some community-based projects.
An Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed with OVG/DRC, the funds were transferred and water survey had started, the socioeconomic survey was not done, except focus group discussion which has been conducted. The questionnaire needed to be adapted to the D.R.C. in accordance with situation and this has been done. It has been distributed to 300 Households of the 482 households that live in the study area. Six (6) focus groups were formed for discussions and data are being entered in the computer using Ms Excel and will be later imported to Ms Access.
A report overview was given by the representative from ITFC/Uganda .According the report, all the five objectives as required in the ToR were achieved; data were entered in the Database, and it is being proof read; a GIS model was done; The socio economic data and report were done; the hydrological assessment was done and a draft report is being produced and it will be adjusted to add relevant recommendations, as asked by the chair; 2/3 of what was supposed to be done has been finished; the remaining work is to write the final report, to enter all data from the three teams in the regional database and compile the final report. This will be done after integrating all Rwandan and DRC variables in the regional database. There is also a need of sharing information so that the database is produced and final report is written.
The Chair and participants admitted that there is a need of harmonizing the reporting format and the GIS model. For the GIS model, all factors should be considering in drawing conclusions and giving recommendations.
Experts from INES gave an overview of the laboratory status. They pointed out the following aspects of theproject supported by GVTC: (1) the works of construction of the hydraulics and water quality laboratory have been finished; (2) the water quality laboratory will be operational by end of January; (3) the staff who will work in the laboratory will be recruited but so far the existing laboratory staff is now working with the project and will help the new ones in training and integration in water quality laboratory activities; (4) Protocols and indicative cost from the Rwanda Standard Board (RSB) have been presented by INES and from there; INES will elaborate its own competitive prices and share it with all three GVTC partners.
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