Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs visits the wetlands to be rehabilitated under the NDF funding

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Denmark, Hon. Jeppe Sebastian Kofod and his delegation, has on Monday 25th October 2021 visited the wetlands to be rehabilitated with support from the Danish Government through the Nordic Development Fund (NDF).

The funds to rehabilitate 258Ha of Rugenge, Rwintare and lower Nyabugogo wetlands in the city of Kigali were secured in line with a cooperation between the NDF and the Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), and the above mentioned funds will be managed by the World Bank.

These wetlands will be rehabilitated as part of the already existing project – Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDP II) – which is funded by the World Bank.

The RUDP II Project will improve access to basic services, enhance resilience, and strengthen integrated urban planning and management in the City of Kigali.

The rehabilitation activities will be preceded by a feasibility study, a baseline study and a wetland rehabilitation plan and designs.

The process will include but not limited to site cleaning to encourage the natural regeneration, construction of flood bypass, construction of water retention ponds, planting of native and wetland plant species for water retention and purification, creation of recreational facilities, and development of new innovative instruments to engage Private sector to invest for climate change action, knowledge and lessons learn sharing.

Hon. Jeppe Sebastian Kofod and his delegation has also visited the Nyandungu Urban Wetland Eco-tourism park, which was also rehabilitated in line with Rwanda's efforts to protect wetlands for sustainable development

Today wetlands make up 10.6% of Rwanda’s territory with approximately 915 wetlands inventoried across the country. Of these, 38 wetlands - representing about 20% of the total area - are fully protected. About 74% have provisions for conditional use and 6% unconditional use. In total, around 53% of wetlands have been converted to agriculture while 41% remain covered by natural vegetation.

In Rwanda, wetlands continue to play an essential role in supporting all development Sectors for sustainable development. They provide water storage, flood buffering, nutrient removal, and water purification as well as erosion control.

Rwanda's main achievements in wetlands management include restoration and rehabilitation of degraded wetlands including Rugezi and Nyandungu. They also include the initiation of wetlands rehabilitation projects such as Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDPII), relocation of industries, commercial and household infrastructures from wetlands, development of Kigali wetland masterplan with wise use allocations to each, inventory, mapping and categorization of all wetlands, law enforcement, among others.