Both natural processes and human activities, including the methane exploitation, lead to changes in Lake Kivu. Such changes could potentially increase the risk of a gas eruption, they could deteriorate the water quality and lake ecological integrity, or they could negatively affect the methane exploitation. The lake monitoring aims at detecting such changes as early as possible before they develop into larger problems. The lake management and methane exploitation strategy can then be adapted to either avert a negative development, or at least to reduce its negative
Created in 2008 with the operationalization of KPI (Kibuye Power One) pilot plant, Lake Kivu Monitoring Programme (LKMP) was a special entity within “Energy Development Corporation Limited” of the Rwanda Energy Group (REG). In 2021 Lake Kivu monitoring activities were transferred in Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) after the government decision under the Official Gazette n° 32 bis of 19/10/2020 that compose the Division of Environment Analytics and Lake Kivu Monitoring. LKMP has been mandated to monitor the impact of methane gas extraction on the Lake by protecting the Lake’s stability, its environment and by ensuring that the socio-economic benefit to the population is maximized. The concession for Methane Gas extraction today has been granted to different companies mainly for electricity production and other uses. Companies are Kivuwatt, Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd, Gasmeth, Magma Energies Ltd. Currently, only Kivuwatt is operational with 26 MW electricity production since 2015 other operators are expected to start soon.
For that, Lake Kivu monitoring activity under REMA ensures that methane gas operators comply with the Managements Prescriptions for Development of Lake Kivu Gas Resources (MPs), which is a set of prescriptions developed by a group of international experts on Lake Kivu for the sustainable and environmentally friendly Methane gas extraction.
Environment analytics and Lake Kivu monitoring (EA&LKM) division collaborate on regular basis with international, region and local research institutions to promote research on Lake Kivu by developing a strong and effective research network on Lake Kivu.
Objectives of Lake monitoring
- To ensure public safety through monitoring of the lake’s stability
- To protect and preserve the lake’s environment, by avoiding any industrial and anthropogenic negative impact on the
- ecology of the lake
- To maximize socio economic benefits.