Water4Virungas (W4V) is a project financed by the Kingdom of the Netherlands trough its Embassy in Kigali, elaborated and executed under the framework of the Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration (GVTC). This project funded up to 14 million Euros will be implemented in the three member countries of GVTC by a consortium of MDF Global, International Gorilla Conservation Programme, and Witteveen+Bos, Wageningen University, with specific objectives consist of (i) improving security, health and economic growth of households and communities living around the protected areas; (ii) linking people through water scarcity in their communities, among communities, and beyond the international borders between the three countries; (iii) transforming conflicts related to the improvement of water service supply through integrated management of water resources.
As the project is going to be implemented in the three countries, the first targeted areas of interest are namely Nyarusiza and Muramba sub-counties in Kisoro District (Uganda) and communities living in Mikeno Sector, around the Virunga National Park (DRC). Thus, thanks to W4V, communities interfere with protected areas in Uganda and DRC while fetching water in the parks will have access to water outside the parks and contribute to a sustainable conservation and tourism development in the region.
The launch of W4V in Kisoro was held on Thursday, 5th Oct.2017 and was attended by the guest of honor, Mr. H. Shaliq Sekandi, the Resident District Commissioner, joined by the Mr. Jan Vlaar, the 1st Secretary of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Kigali (Rwanda). Mr Herman Snelder, the Director of MDF, Mr. Gertjan Leereveld, the W4V Coordinator as well as Dr Georges Muamba, the GVTC Executive Secretary were part of this delegation warmly welcomed in Kisoro district for the introductory ceremony of W4V.
In her remarks, the Local Council V, Mrs. Rose Manirakiza called upon the communities to support W4V, working hand in hand with the donor and the W4V implementer so that in a near future they come back in Kisoro District with new projects. Mr. Jan Vlaar, the 1st Secretary of the Netherlands Embassy in Kigali pointed out the transboundary nature of W4V and said that it is focused on conflicts mitigation through the improvement of water supply for communities living around the parks in Uganda, DRC and Rwanda.
In North Kivu province, the Launching ceremony of W4V started with a field visit on Friday 6th Oct to Rutshuru territory where the project was explained in details to the Administrative Secretary of the Bwisha Chieftaincy. while the actual ceremony took place the following day at Ihusi Hotel in Goma. The King of the Chieftancy, Mwami Francis Ndeze Ndizeye, was in Nairobi for medical reasons and delegated the Administrative Secretary, Mr. Anicet Samvura, to receive de W4V Delegation. The representatives of the Netherlands Embassies in Kigali and Goma were part of the team; as well as representatives of GVTC and the W4V Consortium.
In his remarks, Dr Georges Muamba thanked the Kingdom of the Netherlands for its financial support to GVTC since several years and pointed out that W4V is a regional and transboundary project, designed as golden solution to real needs in terms of natural resources conservation and water access for the benefit of communities living around the protected area in DRC, in Rwanda and Uganda, the 3 member states that signed the GVTC Treaty on the 30th October 2015.
The second and last ceremony of W4V launching was organized at Ihusi Hotel, in Goma (North Kivu province) on Saturday 7th October 2017 with Hon. Julien Paluku Kahongya, the Governor of the North Kivu province, as the guest of honor who officially launched Water4Virungas in the North Kivu Province.
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