All Projects

Embedding Integrated Water Resources Management in Rwanda –EWMR

5/1/2019 6/1/2022

The “Embedding Integrated Water Resources Management in Rwanda –EWMR project” is a three-year project from May 2019 to June 2022 that seeks to increase livelihood and conservation benefits in Sebeya (& other) catchments from restoration and improved land management.

Background

The “Embedding Integrated Water Resources Management in Rwanda –EWMR project” is a three-year project from May 2019 to June 2022, funded by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands (EKN) and implemented by the Rwanda Water resources Board (RWB) with Technical Assistance (TA) from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and its consortium partners including the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV) and Rwanda Rural Rehabilitation Initiative (RWARRI). The project seeks to increase livelihood and conservation benefits in Sebeya (& other) catchments from restoration and improved land management.

The Sebeya River originates in the mountains of Rutsiro District along the Congo Nile Divide, in Western Rwanda. The river flows for over 110km with a catchment area of 286km2 spanning the districts of Rutsiro, Ngororero, Nyabihu, and Rubavu in the Western Province.

The Sebeya River remains very important to Western Rwanda, where smallholder farmers use this river for irrigation, a source of drinking water for many households, and hydroelectric power at the Gihira Power Plant in Rubavu District.

For the past twenty years, hundreds of people in the Western Province including in Sebeya catchment have been displaced and communities massively overwhelmed by Sebeya River floods, a result of poor agriculture practices, deforestation, and unsustainable mining practices upstream to name a few.

In order to attain healthy and productive environments, a landscape approach that identifies and builds on the interdependencies between landscape status, ecosystem service supply, agricultural production, governance, and human wellbeing is required.

The overall goal of the project is to improve catchment management contributing to increased resilience of communities and landscapes to the impacts of climate change and other drivers.

In this regard, the EWMR is a holistically integrated program, focusing on community engagement in work packages that target to:

  1. Reduce land and soil degradation, river sedimentation, and flooding.
  2. Improve incomes and resilience based on sustainable use of landscape resources.
  3. Empower landscape governance and management institutions.
  4. Provide evidence-based guidelines for the landscape approach.

The EWMR project is founded on a community participatory-based approach, relying on participation of the local communities in Sebeya catchment in planning, and implementation of the catchment restoration activities.