Stakeholders from Districts Bordering Lake Kivu Committed to Take Actions against Lake Kivu Pollution

Rubavu, November 15th, 2022-  From 14th to 15th November, The Rwanda Environment Management Authority conducted a two-day workshop to raise awareness on the protection  and conservation of Lake Kivu.  This workshop brought together media practionners, District Environmental Officers & environmental NGOs all from the Districts bordering this lake as well as security officers from Rwanda national Police and Waterborne Brigade/ Rwanda Defense Force.

During this workshop, participants shared views on the law on environmental protection and the law prohibiting the use and selling of single use plastic bags as the main pollutants in lake Kivu are plastic bottles. Other points/topics of the workshop were the structure and biodiversity of lake  Kivu as  a special and amazing lake; monitoring activities to assess the impacts of gas extraction in Lake Kivu and its ecosystem as well as stakeholders’ engagement to ensure the safety, stability and protection of the lake and how to sustainably maximize ecosystem services and  socio-economic benefits to the population.

Participants conducted a joint inspection against plastics pollution and other wastes that may be discharged in the Lake Kivu. In this regard, they visited restaurants and bars bordering Lake Kivu in order to raising owners’ awareness on protection and preservation of the Lake.

“Kivu is a special and amazing lake. This lake contains 300 billion cubic meters of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 60 billion cubic meters of methane gas (CH4). These gases are on one hand, an opportunity for economic growth, but it has the potential to harm lives surrounding the lake, on the other hand. The government of Rwanda decided, from 2008 to initiate gas extraction for both ensuring safety and generate energy for economic development. When not properly done, gas extraction activities can alter safety of the lake and cause catastrophic losses in both Rwanda and DRC”. Mugisha Ange, Lake chemist  Specialist

 

Monitoring activities started in 2008, and since 2021 REMA took these responsibilities and committed to regularly monitor the extraction activities to ensure that it is done properly. Three main reasons behind this action include ensuring public safety, preserving the ecosystem of the lake and ensuring socio economic optimization by avoiding waste of the resources that can result from inadequate extraction technology.

 

Participants committed to strengthen their collaboration in environment protection and conservation, and conduct quarterly inspection and awareness of lake Kivu protection and conservation. Journalists who attended the workshop understood the concerns about the environment and committed to particularly give their contribution in this regard.

About Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu is situated in the East African Rift Valley near the equator at an elevation of 1463 m and it contains exceptionally some gases. Evaluation done in 2019 showed that the lake contains 300 billion cubic meters of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 60 billion cubic meters of methane gas (CH4), (Report of Gas Study, 2019). To ensure a safe and environmentally friendly gas exploitation in lake Kivu,  different monitoring activities  were initiated and conducted on site. These include: engineering inspections, near gas extraction plants, lake stability and ecology assessment.

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