World Environment Day: winners of environmental school competitions awarded

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has awarded winners of this year’s environmental school competitions organized in the build up to the World Environment Day.

The competitions, organized annually through the Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration and Conservation (LAFREC) Project, are part of a larger environmental education programme that targets communities and schools around the Gishwati-Mukura Landscape.

Students competed in songs, poems and drawings. Out of the over 40 students from 14 schools that participated in the competitions, nine (9) winners from six schools in Rubavu and Rutsiro Districts, Western Province and one singing group were awarded on World Environment Day.  Awards were presented to the top three performers in each category. The competition focused on this year’s theme: Beat plastic Pollution- If you can’t reuse it, refuse it. This theme calls upon governments, industries, communities, and individuals to come together to combat disposable plastics.

“The young students who made posters, poems and songs with a message of ending plastic waste for the World Environment Day schools competition demonstrate a level of passion and dedication that should inspire us all,” said Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Environment, after presenting the awards to the winners.

“I congratulate all those who participated in the competitions and encourage the winners to keep up their dedication to environment protection. Your contribution should go beyond these songs, poems and drawings,” Minister Biruta told the winners.

The Minister further thanked REMA and LAFREC Project for organizing the competitions, which he said, are raising awareness on environment protection among students.

“Students, and the youth at large, are the future leaders of our country. Empowering them is empowering our nation,” Minister Biruta said.

In the individual category, each winning student received prizes that included backpacks, notebooks, pens, wall watches, bedsheets, T-shirts and caps, courtesy of LAFREC Project. In the group category, the winning song- tubungabunge ibidukikije (let’s protect our environment, literary) by Nyundo Music School students group – received the biggest prize: a Rwf3.2million cheque, also courtesy of LAFREC Project. The song calls upon all Rwandans to contribute to environment protection and to support efforts to end plastic pollution.

The Director General of REMA, Eng. Coletha U. RUHAMYA, said: “These students have demonstrated a level of understanding of issues related to environment protection and pollution control. We should all encourage them to take the leadership in protecting our environment.”

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