| Green Amayaga |

Green Amayaga Football competition: Thousands gather to receive messages regarding the project sustainability

The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in partnership with Action pour la Protection de l‟Environnement et la Promotion des Filières Agricoles (APEFA) has organized a month long football competition which served as a channel through which an awareness campaign about Green Amayaga Project was conducted.

Twenty football teams from 20 sectors where the project is being implemented in Gisagara, Kamonyi, Nyanza and Ruhango Districts competed in the tournament which started on July 13, 2023 and ended on August 18, 2023.

Green Amayaga Football competitions has been crucial for the project through the easing of access to a huge number of people gathered together at every match and receive messages from different authorities regarding the sustainable restoration of Amayaga region.

Benimana Goreth, 47, a resident of Gisagara district, attest that before the project inception, the community would struggle to make a living from the diminishing resources due to their land vulnerability to soil erosion, lack of fuels for home-cooking among others.

She also mentioned that “Our knowledge and capacity towards best practices to tackle climate change issue (as residents) was too law that we couldn’t get any solution for a better living. We benefited a lot from this competition as we got to know the project’s objectives and our involvement in the project implementation for sustainability purposes”

Three years are gone since the Green Amayaga project began to be implemented in the above-mentioned four districts of the southern province of Rwanda.

Although this project is only halfway through its implementation, its interventions are bringing significant transformation mainly in its forest and landscape restoration run.

Among its key achievements include the afforestation scheme, where so far 929ha of land have been covered with woodlots, 2,534 families were provided with livestock, 21,000 families were provided with improved cookstoves, 20 LPG equipment were donated to 20 schools and the restoration of Kibirizi-Muyira natural forest on 12ha among many other achievements.

Kayitesi Alice, the Southern Province Governor, said that the province will retain these green ambitions, even after project completion, so as to keep Amayaga green and getting the community free from adverse effects of climate change.

“Today, we are witnessing positive changes brought by the project in Amayaga region compared to how it looked before. All we ask the community is to consider the project as their own and ensure a good management of what has been achieved so far by playing their role in its implementation.” Said the Governor.

Juliet Kabera, the Director General of REMA, endorsed her firm confidences in a sustainable restoration of Amayaga region based on the positive feedback from the community where the project is being implemented.

She said that “The feedback we get is that the people are happy with the project. For some places where we visit, people always show their satisfaction with how their farms are producing and they ask that the project would expand to more areas. That’s why we are very confident that the project’s achievements will not be reversed as the people have already seen and understood that they are the primary beneficiaries.”

Green Amayaga is a 6-year Forest Landscape Restoration project, started in 2020, with the aim to promote biodiversity, foster ecosystem services, increase agricultural productivity and reduce the vulnerability of people and ecosystems to the adverse effects of climate change.

It is being implemented by the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in partnership with the Rwanda Forestry Authority and the Districts of Kamonyi, Nyanza, Ruhango and Gisagara with funding from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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