The two-day workshop organized by GVTC (Greater Virunga Transboundary Collaboration) to validate hydrological research findings started on the 28th July 2015 at Stipphotel in Rubavu(Rwanda). The welcoming remarks were given by Mr. Abel Musana, Research & Monitor Warden at Volcanoes National Park of Rwanda followed by Dr Georges Muamba Tshibasu, the Executive Secretary of the GVTC.
Funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the study was conducted by three research institutions from Rwanda, Uganda & DRC and coordinated by GVTC. The Institute for Tropical Forest Conservation, Uganda (ITFC), INES-Ruhengeri in Rwanda and the Observatoire Vulcanologique de Goma(OVG) in DRC are the research institutions which have been conducting such an important study to evaluate the state of water resources in the Greater Virunga Landscape and suggest methods of improving both the quantity and quality of water that is being distributed to local communities.
The participants attending the two-day workshop were selected from Rwanda, Uganda & DRC among the Protected Areas Authorities; local government experts in charge of water and natural resources management; experts in hydrology and the Netherlands staff that supported the study. It is in this regard that Mr. Gaspard Ndagijimana, Jan Vlaar and Luca Peters, respectively Advisor, 1rst Secretary and Intern at the Netherlands Embassy in Kigali attended the meeting and participated in the study findings research validation.
The study findings validation workshop consisted of presenting the general background of the Greater Virunga Landscape as well as sharing the needs of such a study pointed out by Mr.James Byamukama, the Programs Manager of GVTC.
This study was motivated by specific objectives, including but not limited to (1)determine the main drainage;(2) determine the regimes and character of streams and wetlands;(3)determine the distribution for major geological formations;(4)determine the land tenure and land use systems;(5)determine the settlement patterns; (6)determine the level of protection of main water sources;(7)determine the threats to the water sources, including point sources, and non point water sources and their underlying causes;(8)identify flood prone areas and suggest mitigation measures; (9) determine the water supply by establishing both the water quantity and quality of the potential water sources;(10)determine the demand by establishing the total population to be served by each sources and the requirement for environmental flows. Consideration should also be made of water for animals, farming and energy;(11)identify all stakeholders involved in water resource management and their specific interventions in /or and around the protected areas.
The results of the study have been presented to participants, shared with them and discussed by them before making up three work groups aimed at elaborating recommendations and submit them to GVTC to find out how to harmonize results and match them with the study Terms of Reference; how data should be used, how to complete the study, what are the priority areas and how to have stakeholders involved in the water provision process.
Participants discussed the roles of key-stakeholders in the three countries in terms of water resources management according to the needs of local community’s needs by pointing out the fact that the main roles have to be played by governments supported by private interveners. Institutions involved in water resources management have been identified as well as their responsibilities, the covered areas and the limitations of their interventions.
The recommendations submitted by participants will help GVTC to complete the study, determine the way forward as well as the criteria for priority areas.
At the end of the two-day workshop, closing remarks were given by Mr.Yan Vlaar, the 1st Secretary of the Netherlands Embassy in Kigali in charge of Water Progams and Mr. Fidele Ruzigandekwe, the Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Programs.
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