|COVAGA RECEIVES ENERGY GLOBE CERTIFICATE|
Bugesera June 14, 2012
The Rwandan Environment Protection cooperative known as COVAGA or Cooperative de Vannnerie de Gashora received on June 14, 2012 a certificate from the Energy Globe Award Foundation following the cooperative’s project nomination as the winner of the National Energy Globe Award” 2011 in the last year’s competition.
The project “conservation and purification of water by Removing water hyacinth in Lakes for poverty reduction won the National Energy Globe Award Rwanda, an award given to the best project of a specific country. Moreover, the project was selected by the Energy Globe Jury as one of the 3 nominated projects worldwide for the Energy Globe Award in the category “Water”, from among almost 1000 entries presented by 105 nations.
The ceremonies took place in Gashora, sector at Bugesera District at the premises of the cooperative on 14th June 2012. Mrs Kornelia Kirchweger the in charge of International Communication at Energy Globe personally presented the Certificate for COVAGA National Award 2011 to the cooperative members, given that the cooperative delegation failed to attend the awarding ceremonies held in Austria last November.
Speaking on behalf of Energy Globe Award Foundation, Mrs Kornelia Kirchweger, commended the initiative of COVAGA and said this should be an inspiration for the rest of the world.
“In most of developed countries, environmental problems are only handled by the use of high technologies. But with such imaginative innovations, COVAGA project should be an inspiration for the rest of the world”. Mentioned Mrs Kornelia
The Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Dr Rose Mukankomeje also mentioned the COVAGA innovations as an evidence how much Rwandans consider home grown solutions to their own problems.
“Rwandans have got within themselves a multitude of solutions to all their problems. This is an evidence by COVAGA where the water hyacinth, which is harmful to the water and aquatic biodiversity, is not only removed and thrown away, but used in income generating activities to fight poverty” the DG REMA said.
On behalf of COVAGA, Dancille Gahongayire, the president, welcomed the certificate by Energy Globe and mentioned that it will spark more innovations.
“We are delighted of this certificate in addition to other different supports we are getting as an indication that our innovations in environmental protection and poverty eradication are considered and have reached overseas. We are keeping on with more innovations” declared COVAGA president.
The mayor of Bugesera District, Louis Rwagaju also encouraged the cooperative to move forward and keep the teamwork. “Such an award should inspire you to come up with more innovations and also keep working as a team” the Mayor said
Operating since 2006, COVAGA cooperative, now counting 63 women and one man, started the project of removing water hyacinth, locally known as “amarebe” in the lakes in the region which resulted in the cleanness of Lake RUMIRA in Gashora, Bugesera District. In addition to the cleaning, the cooperative has been using the removed hyacinth in making handcraft products. As a result, when visited in October 2010, the level of water in Lake Rumira had increased and fishing activities that had stopped before were restarted. Moreover, the handicraft products were registered as a contribution in poverty alleviation.
Launched in 1999 by Wolfgang Neumann, the ENERGY GLOBE World Award for Sustainability has become the most prominent and prestigious environmental prize. From all over the world, projects are showcased that conserve and protect natural resources or that employ renewable energy. The goal is to present successful sustainable projects to a broad audience, for many of environmental problems already have good, feasible solutions. Each year some 800 projects and initiatives from all over the world are submitted to compete for the award in the categories Earth, Fire, Water, Air and Youth.
Rwanda hosted in 2010 the awarding ceremony of the Energy Globe World Award and His Excellence President Paul KAGAME received the Honoraly Energy Globe World Award due to his efforts to protect Environment and give it consideration in Rwandan policies, programs and plans.