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On the 1st April 2015, GVTC has organized a field visit during a joint mission by the delegation the Netherlands Embassy in Kigali, in the North Province of DRC. This visit was organized by GVTC partners involved in water projects funded by the Netherlands. Thus, those projects were visited and their progress status and the challenges were appreciated for a better way forward. Ms. Klandermans Brechtje, the First Secretary of the Embassy and Mr. Gaspard Ndagijimana, the Advisor on Land and Water were part of the delegation from the Netherlands Embassy. The Observatoire Vulcanologique de Goma (OVG) as the GVTC partner institution in charge of the implementation of the water project in Rugari, Kisigari and Bweza was represented by Dr. Katcho Karume, the Director General; Mrs. Solange Kazikatya, the Research Assistant as well as Mr. Mathews, a Researcher. GVTC delegation was represented by Dr Georges Muamba Tshibasu, the Executive Secretary; James Byamukama, the Programs Manager, Mrs. Grace Kyomuhendo, the Deputy Executive Secretary in charge of Administration & Finance, and Juvenal Mukeshimana, the Executive Secretary Assistant. Mrs. Christina Lain, IUCN DRC Advisor and Mr. Altor Musema, DRC IGCP Country Coordinator joined the team to visit the location where water outlets have to be built.

While visiting the Rugari site, Dr. Katcho Karume mentioned that “This is the water outlet number one of Rugali, 55 households will be using this water outlet, to identify where to build it, we used a technology that helped us to calculate the distance between the water outlet and the farthest household which is actually 650m”

At Kanombe school, the delegation met with the beneficiary population who expressed their happiness of having water nearby because of the water scarcity, women and children have to go to search water far away from the habitations. This causes a waste of time because they may spend from 6 to 8 hours with so many associated risks related to insecurity, rape, fight, etc.

In this area, water is a needed resource to help the populations for cleaning, washing, drinking, cooking, and for their livestock. A similar project is being conducted by the International Gorilla Conservation Program (IGCP) in Jomba where 80 rain harvesting tanks are going to help people to have access to water and reduce somehow the problem of water scarcity in this area.

The AFEGARU’s women project was the last to be visited by the delegation. This project, implemented by a park ranger women’s association, aims at mushroom producing thanks to GVTC funds provided by the Norway Embassy in Uganda.
These water projects and mushroom production one are all implemented in the communities living around the protected areas, where water by gravitation is not possible and where illegal activities against the parks are very often identified. Thus, these projects are contributing to a sustainable conservation of natural resources in the Greater Virunga Landscape, by reducing the conflict between human and wildlife through the improvement of the living conditions of the populations around the protected areas.

GVTC Communication Service