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Local Content Bill can protect Kenya against ‘resource curse’The official launch of the Local Content Bill, 2016 by members of the Senate Standing Committee on Energy on September 1, marked the culmination of a public demand for legislation to provide for local content in the extractive industry.

The Bill can simply be termed as the most significant piece of legislation touching on the extractive industry and especially the oil and gas sector that the current National Assembly will ever handle.

It is a Bill tailor-made to cushion the country against the infamous ‘resource curse’ – a term closely associated with African countries who despite immense natural resources like minerals and crude oil, suffer from poor economic growth and constant civil strife.

As a result, this breeds widespread corruption and poor governance which leads to the failure by the governments to build local capacities in terms of training, technology transfer and employment in the sector. This debacle leaves the country, however how rich it is in terms of natural resources, exploited and drained of its resources.

Avoiding the ‘resource curse’ was one of the key issues raised by the public in 2012 after the government announced that commercially viable oil had been discovered in Turkana.

If enacted, the Bill will provide for a framework for the development and adoption of local content in the upstream oil sector through ownership, control and financing of activities connected with the exploitation of gas, oil and other mineral resources by local persons and local enterprises.


It focuses on ensuring that the influx of the upstream oil and gas companies will lead to the development of local communities and people through the mandatory provision of employment, training and transfer of technology.

Further, the local economies are primed to benefit through the mandatory preference for local goods and supplies, development of local capacities in the sector and the overall stimulation of industrial development.

Among the key benefits to Kenyans will be the requirement that the players in the industry give first consideration to goods produced and services delivered locally as well as the requirement for granting of first priority to qualified local persons with respect to employment by the operator.

The Bill seeks to ensure that Kenya benefits from the natural resources by ensuring that there is constant employment, skills development and training of locals, technology transfer and preference for local contractors.

Through the requirement of succession plans, it guarantees that corporations in the industry will train Kenyans with the purpose of readying them for uptake of top positions of management in the future.

The Bill further ensures that in the future, local content requirements are actually fully implemented by creating the Local Content Training and Development Fund and requiring that the extractive industry players remit such percentage of their net revenues as will be determined by the government to the Fund for the purpose of training locals.


Written by  Eriosi Nantaba for East African Business Week

Karamoja people Karamoja people google photo

Kampala — The National Curriculum Development Centre (NCDC) is set to roll out a revised lower Secondary School Curriculum related to climate change issues as part of the programme to integrate climate change into education.
Speaking to East African Business Week, Ronald Sekandwa from the Social Studies Learning Area said the government plans to begin rolling out the programme in 2016 starting with the senior one students of that year.

"If all goes well as planned, we expect to have our first graduands of the new curriculum passing out senior four in 2019," Sekandwa said. "Climate change issues came after the body had successfully reformed the primary school curriculum."
NCDC is an autonomous body of the Ministry of Education mandated with activities not limited to developing the curricula and developing teaching materials for pre and primary lower secondary, teacher training institutions and other tertiary institutions.

Sekandwa said NCDC was tasked to reform the lower secondary curriculum from senior one to senior four following a memorandum signed by the Ministry of Water and officials from the climate change unit in the Ministry of Education.
"Basics of climate change to an ordinary senior one student shall be considered and climate change being a cross cutting issue, the NCDC decided to fix it in two learning areas, in Social studies and Science," he said.

A senior Climate Change officer, from the Ministry of Water and Environment Bob Natif said, the survey that was conducted by the ministry indicated that there was still lack of knowledge and skills to address climate change issues.
"National Development Plan (NDP) recognizes the threat of climate change and the issue of capacity development.
Therefore to attain a green and free green emission environment, we need to strengthen the human, institutional and individual," Natif further stated.

Written by  From Insight On Conflict

April 19 2016: Recent research highlights some of the worst of many abuses which have taken place in South Sudan. But when the UN’s own investigations can’t be used as evidence, how to ensure that victims and perpe Nepalese peacekeepers in South Sudan. The UN Mission in South Sudan has documented abuses in the country, but the standard of proof is unlikely to be high enough for convictions. Image credit: United Nations Photo.

trators see justice? Two researchers on South Sudan discuss the difficulties.

Nepalese peacekeepers in South Sudan. The UN Mission in South Sudan has documented abuses in the country, but the standard of proof is unlikely to be high enough for convictions. Image credit:United Nations

Nobody knows how many people have been killed in South Sudan
Nobody knows how many people have been killed since civil war broke out in South Sudan in December 2013. Some have tentatively suggested that the death toll is now comparable to that of Syria, which has been at more than war twice as long – and received a great deal more public attention.

What we do know for sure though, following the work of human rights documentation work in South Sudan in recent years, is that the individual and collective pain suffered by South Sudanese people is immense. Last month, the UN Human Rights Commissionreleased a report detailing the grave human rights abuses and violations of humanitarian law that have taken place in South Sudan throughout 2015. The report follows on the back of others by the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and the much-anticipated, heavily delayed report of the African Union Commission of Inquiry (AUCOI), which covered the period from December 2013 to September 2014, but due to political pressure was not released until October 2015.

International and South Sudanese organisations and researchers – ourselves included – have also sought to overcome the clear deficit in accurate information and documentation on the damage of this war; to understand not just the effects but the cause as well. In an environment which has increasingly witnessed a crackdown on freedom of movement and expression, including violent threats, intimidation and deliberate obstruction of the media and researchers, such work is not easy, but this makes it all the more important.
A multitude of violations

The litany of abuses reads like a rap sheet for civil wars
The latest UN report walks through a multitude of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law committed by all parties to the current conflict, from the destruction of entire villages and livelihoods by the South Sudan’s standing army, the SPLA, and its allied militias, to mass recruitment of child soldiers by the SPLA and the rebel opposition, the SPLA-IO.

The litany of abuses reads like a rap sheet for civil wars globally: mass killing, forced and arbitrary detention, torture, ethnic targeting, deliberate starvation, and the terrorising of civilian populations. Notably, in South Sudan’s Unity state, the UN report details evidence of crimes against humanity, committed by the SPLA and allied militia during a military offensive in the spring of 2015. This report has also shed important light onto the spreading of the conflict from the country’s oil-producing regions in the north, to the Equatoria region in the south, which was until recently relatively secure and stable, but is now beset by violence.

Equatorian towns including Mundri, Maridi and Wonduruba, have seen forced displacement of thousands of people, destruction of property, the abduction of civilians and the terrorising of those populations, as the SPLA seeks to weaken burgeoning local militia groups and their links to the rebel SPLA-IO.

Moreover, the UN report is one of a number of research pieces which have laid bare the trend that this war has perhaps become most well-known for: sexual and gender-based violence. Indeed, in a recent research project carried out by national and international researchers it was revealed that rape is common practice in the conflict. A number of the women interviewed for the research spoke about the harrowing choice between being raped and killed. As one woman living in a UN Protection of Civilian (POC) site in the capital Juba told us: “The best they could do was give their bodies so that they could survive being killed.”
Sexual violence in South Sudan

There is massive under-reporting due to social stigma
While much of the sexual violence seen in the current conflict appears to be part of some sort of collective targeting, the research also highlights the multiple purposes that sexual offences serve in South Sudan’s current civil war. The targeting of women by armed men outside the perimeters of the UN POC sites around the country, for example, was attributed to both intimidation of populations with the intention of keeping them displaced, as well the opportunistic actions of ill-disciplined recruits. It also touched on the possibility that the “rape camps” established in southern Unity State during the 2015 government offensive (also highlighted in the UN report) might have been used to incentivise participation and recruitment into armed groups in a collapsing economy.

Despite massive under-reporting due to social stigma, the research also discussed the sexual victimisation of men and boys during the course of fighting, pointing to both male rape and the castration of young boys. Thus far, efforts by both the Government of South Sudan and the SPLA-IO to investigate, document and enforce accountability for the acts committed under their watch have been by many accounts, woefully lacking. The UN report states that “there is no evidence or available public information of any genuine Government accountability efforts, or the results of these efforts, to investigate, prosecute or punish these violations,” and likewise that the SPLA-IO has failed to produce a long-promised investigative report to the AUCOI.

Our own research, among others’, has found that underpinning this vacuum of accountability is a national justice system that is extremely weak in capacity, that struggles to be independent in the face of visible politicisation and militarisation, and is prone to committing abuse itself. The Compromise Peace Agreement signed by both parties in August 2015 sets out a range of means for accountability to be undertaken by the (not yet formed) Transitional Government. These include a Hybrid Court for criminal prosecutions, that seeks to overcome the barriers to accountability by bringing in regional and international expertise. At best, though, this will only be capable of processing a minute fraction of the total volume of crimes committed, leaving the remainder to be dealt with by the national judiciary and ubiquitous customary justice systems in the country – or even not be dealt with at all.

Though the UN’s recent human rights documentation, as well as that previously completed by UNMISS and other organisations, represents a positive development in uncovering some of what has gone on during this war, its findings of grave human rights violations, possible war crimes and crimes against humanity by no means ensure that those crimes will be prosecuted in the Hybrid Court or any other international court.
Obstacles to accountability

The greatest obstacle is – as elsewhere – politics
Of course, the greatest obstacle to accountability will inevitably be – as it has been in so many cases in Africa and elsewhere – politics. That aside, the process will face further legal impediments along the way. Though it is rarely explained explicitly, the human rights investigations carried out by UNMISS are not treated by the UN Security Council – and we can assume other global judicial bodies – as an adequate standard of proof to permit criminal sanctions. Even the recent UN report somewhat ambiguously states that the standard of proof given in the report is only good enough to “call for a judicial investigation into violations and abuses” – in other words, it can draw attention to certain issues that merit investigation, but it is not treated as evidence in itself. Investigations by other human rights organisations, no matter how thorough, will carry even less weight in court.

Furthermore, as mentioned above in relation to sexual violence in the current conflict, the violations like the ones mentioned in the UN report often serve multiple functions for those perpetrating abuses. Despite common wartime tropes of sexual violence as a “weapon of war” or terror tactic, sexual violence like any other form of violence is not only an ordered strategy. While there is evidence to suggest that offences such as sexual violence have been used as a strategy, for instance, in Bentiu, Unity State, in April 2014, where it was reported that opposition forces used the local radio station to incite rape,at other times sexual violence appears to be far more indiscriminate, the result of indiscipline, or a reward for foot soldiers for participating in violence.

This is important to recognise, as it means that further investigations and prosecutions need to search for evidence above and beyond that of an explicit strategy of wartime rape. Finally, notwithstanding the almost exclusive focus on sexual violence by armed groups in the conflict, there is also a need to pay attention to the kinds of sexual and gender-based offences that South Sudanese experience on a daily basis, including forced and early marriages, domestic violence and marital rape. In fact, the same research discussed above noted that while a number of research participants talked about sexual assault at the hands of the Government and SPLA-IO forces, often their main sexual and gender-based violence-security concerns reflected other, less publicised forms of harm.  It is crucial that human rights abuses such as those highlighted in the UN report are addressed in any accountability process, our research findings also highlight it is also important to demand accountability for everyday experiences of injustice in order to ensure all survivors of violence can seek redress.

Written by  Comboni South Sudan

16 June 2016 – The Catholic Bishops of South Sudan gathered in Juba from 14th-16th have issued a message of hope and encouragement to all South Sudanese. The bishops say that “now is the time for the government and all citizens to work together for the future. Do not indulge in destructive criticism; instead roll up your sleeves and get to work to build a new nation for ourselves, our children and our children's children.”


Message of Encouragement and Hope from the Catholic Bishops of South Sudan

16th June 2016

“Be strong and of good courage, and act. Do not be afraid or dismayed; for the Lord God, my God, is with you. He will not fail you or forsake you, until all the work for the service of the house of the Lord is finished.” (1 Chronicles 28:20)


We the Catholic bishops of South Sudan, meeting in Juba from 14th-16th June 2016, have prayed and reflected about the situation in our country in the light of the Gospel, and we issue this Message of Encouragement and Hope to the people of South Sudan and our regional and international friends and partners.

In the life of the Catholic Church, there have been many blessings during this year. The Holy Father Pope Francis declared it a Year of Mercy with the words: "This Jubilee Year of Mercy excludes no one." We are called upon to show mercy and forgiveness, even in the face of great evil and suffering, but we are also called upon to repent and do penance.

The Synods on the Family in 2014 and 2015 led to the publication in April 2016 of the Post Synodal Pastoral ExhortationAmoris Laetitia, The Joy of Love. It affirms the centrality of the family – indeed “The Church is a family of families”, God's family - and dwells on pastoral care for the family. The family does not exist in a vacuum. Real problems which face families in South Sudan are recognised in the Exhortation; “the family has the right to decent housing... Families, in particular, suffer from problems related to work, where young people have few possibilities... Societies experiencing violence due to war, terrorism or the presence of organized crime are witnessing the deterioration of the family... the so-called phenomenon of ‘street-children’ is on the rise... forced migration of families, resulting from situations of war, persecution, poverty and injustice, and marked by the vicissitudes of a journey that often puts lives at risk, traumatizes people and destabilizes families...” But the document also speaks highly of African families: “In some countries, especially in various parts of Africa, secularism has not weakened certain traditional values, and marriages forge a strong bond between two wider families, with clearly defined structures for dealing with problems and conflicts.”[1] May the strength of our South Sudanese families be a resource for peace and reconciliation in our nation.

From 11th-13th April 2016, an important conference entitled “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence” was held in Rome under the auspices of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International. The South Sudanese church participated. The Conference declared: “We believe that there is no 'just war'... Pope Saint John XXIII wrote that war is not a suitable way to restore rights; Pope Paul VI linked peace and development, and told the UN 'no more war'; Pope Saint John Paul II said that 'war belongs to the tragic past, to history'; Pope Benedict XVI said that 'loving the enemy is the nucleus of the Christian revolution'; and Pope Francis said 'the true strength of the Christian is the power of truth and love, which leads to the renunciation of all violence. Faith and violence are incompatible'. He has also urged the 'abolition of war'...” and called for “A Just Peace approach... to build peace as well as to prevent, defuse, and to heal the damage of violent conflict. This ethic includes a commitment to human dignity and thriving relationships... We recognize that peace requires justice and justice requires peacemaking.”[2] Echoes of our own frequent statements that the civil war in South Sudan has no moral justification can be heard in this.


In August 2015, we welcomed the signing of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. We appreciate the serenity with which it has been accepted by the citizens, despite their worries, and the apparent willingness amongst the parties to talk about their disagreements. We recognise that it is a compromise agreement and both sides may have reservations, but we said at the time that it must be signed and implemented because it is the agreed tool to bring about a comprehensive ceasefire. Reservations are not grounds for rejecting the agreement. Only when we have stopped killing ourselves can we sit down together to rebuild the nation. Therefore we are encouraged by the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity. We now have a window of opportunity, a breathing space, for South Sudanese to find our own home-grown solution to the root causes of our conflicts. Our nation is still fragile, but this is the time for reform and reconstruction.

Our leaders have overcome many political obstacles to form the TGoNU, and we congratulate them on reaching this point. We recognise the difficulties they face and we want to encourage, affirm and support them in resolving the difficult task ahead. Whatever may have happened in the past, now is not the time for recriminations. Now is the time for the government and all citizens to work together for the future. Do not indulge in destructive criticism; instead roll up your sleeves and get to work to build a new nation for ourselves, our children and our children's children.


“Finally, brothers [and sisters], whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (Philippians 4:8)

We regret the amount of negativity and pessimism that we hear – from South Sudanese who are still steeped in the old ways of power and tribalism; from the international community; on the internet; in the media; on social media; within the diaspora. We say very clearly: NO MORE NEGATIVITY!

“Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4:29)

We ourselves do not want to fall into the trap of pointing fingers, but we wish to name some of the negative practices that we observe. Stop assuming that South Sudan and South Sudanese are doomed always to fail, and instead give support and encouragement. Stop disseminating hate speech and tribalism on the internet and social media, and instead spread constructive peaceful messages. Stop propagating rumours, gossip, misinformation and disinformation. Stop attacking and accusing each other, stop pursuing narrow personal and tribal interests, but instead work together for the good of the nation. Be ready to compromise for peace and for the common good. Stop seeing everything in its most negative light. Stop preparing for war; move with the times into the new culture of peace and reconciliation.

We are also conscious of the human frailty of our leaders. Like every other South Sudanese, they suffer the trauma of a lifetime of conflict. Do not undermine them. Instead offer them support and encouragement to rise above their personal interests. Reassure them that the nation and the international community understand their situation. They are human beings, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters to all of us. They need healing. Let us treat them with love and mercy, not hatred and condemnation. The priority now is reforming and rebuilding our shattered nation.

“A perverse man spreads strife, and a slanderer separates intimate friends” (Proverbs 16:28)

Constant negativity can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. If you keep on saying that something will fail, then ultimately you will cause it to fail. Instead be positive, and work concretely for success.


We encourage the TGoNU to concentrate on some immediate priorities to alleviate the suffering of our people, including a comprehensive ceasefire, bringing safety to all the people of South Sudan whether in the towns or countryside, improving the economy, delivering basic services and resolving the humanitarian situation, so that our people can live dignified and humane lives. Currently people still live in fear, many workers are not being paid, and many families have no food. It is particularly dangerous when the army and other security organs are not being paid, as this can lead to further insecurity.

We thank the international community for the support they have provided, often under difficult circumstances, and humbly ask them to continue to provide services and relief to the poorest of the poor. At the same time we urge the government to remove obstacles to this endeavour.


We re-commit ourselves and our Church to play our part, in our own work and through our South Sudan Council of Churches' three-pillared Action Plan for Peace: Advocacy, Neutral Forums and Reconciliation. We repeat our commitment to the process laid out by our Church leaders in Kigali in June 2015. For several months SSCC has been laying the foundations for this process, in which the Catholic Church is fully involved. Now that the TGoNU is formed the process will be rolled out, seeking home-grown solutions to our conflicts.

We draw attention to some of the uniquely Catholic initiatives, including Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, the new Good Shepherd Peace Centre in Kit, peace studies being taught in our Catholic University of South Sudan, pastoral work in the Protection of Civilians (POC) camps, trauma healing workshops that have taken place across the country, and many local peace and reconciliation efforts by our bishops, priests, sisters, brothers and laity. We recognize that lasting peace requires personal transformation, conversion, repentance, change of heart, brought about through prayer by God's grace.

The Church alone cannot bring peace and reconciliation to South Sudan, but we pledge to be leaders in this role, encouraging all other people of good will. There is no other national institution that can take on this leadership role; we humbly accept this burden of responsibility.


We cannot end without remembering our dear Sister Veronika Theresia Racková who died of her wounds after being shot by SPLA soldiers in Yei less than a month ago. In the eyes of the people whom she served she is already a martyr. May she rest in peace. Attacking medical personnel is a war crime and a crime against humanity, but Sr Veronika is only one of thousands of women, men and children who have been killed in this senseless conflict. Let her death draw attention to and be symbolic of all those other deaths, and let us state unequivocally that there should be no more such atrocities. We are encouraged that her attackers have been arrested. We hope that they will face justice for their acts, and that other armed youth will learn a lesson. But we do not want to focus solely on these three young men, brandishing lethal weapons on the instructions of others. “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). We pray for them and we offer them our forgiveness and mercy in this Jubilee Year of Mercy.

However we must protest at the ethic of violence in our country. We reiterate the message of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International April 2016 conference on Nonviolence and Just Peace, that violence is never the solution and simply leads to more violence. We wish to challenge the militaristic culture in South Sudan, where even civilians carry assault rifles. We condemn the arms trade which provides these weapons and we stress the need for peaceful disarmament of civilians. We abhor the fact that thousands of young men are carrying arms when we don't have enough money to provide basic services to our own people; this is a misuse of our national resources. We are appalled to hear reports that there are still many child soldiers. We beg that the lives of our children be spared; let them prepare for their future through education rather than being trapped in violence.

Truly the current Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) is not the same army which protected and liberated us between 1983 and 2005. We are deeply concerned that many of these armed men appear to be poorly disciplined, poorly trained, poorly led, poorly educated militia, preying on the population, rather than a disciplined force protecting the people. Many of their officers are militia leaders, not professionally-trained soldiers. We urge the formation of a single professional national army that we can be proud of, to defend our borders against external enemies but not to kill their own brothers and sisters. We are saddened that many crimes are reportedly committed by armed men connected with the SPLA and other national security organs, and we note that they are rarely brought to justice. Where is the rule of law? As a nation we should be ashamed.

We must also add our concern that churches and church personnel are the subject of frequent attacks, threats and robberies. When did armed forces in South Sudan stop respecting the House of God? Even the Sudanese army during the 22-year civil war did not behave as badly as some of the armed groups currently operating in many parts of South Sudan.


This Jubilee Year of Mercy is an opportune moment to begin the long journey of peace and reconciliation. We invite the people of South Sudan and all people of good will throughout the world to continue praying and working for peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. We invite all parties to hold true to the principle of dialogue in resolving their differences. We invite our leaders, citizens and friends to commit to the reforming and reconstruction of our nation, building peace together, and we repeat our commitment to this task.

We also invite our leaders President Salva Kiir Mayardiit and First Vice President Riek Machar to honour the agreement they signed, and to publicly reassure the citizens of their willingness to work together for the good of the nation by making both practical and symbolic gestures such as praying together, touring the country and meeting the ordinary people together, paying special attention to those who have been displaced from their homes. We take this opportunity to invite the two leaders to make a short spiritual retreat together; we would be happy to facilitate such an important occasion.

Finally, we believe our hope is well-founded because the future of our country does not depend on political and military leaders alone; with God's help it is the people of South Sudan who will ultimately bring peace, reconciliation and justice to our nation. We put our trust in God and the people.

We have recently celebrated the great Christian Feast of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came down upon the disciples of Jesus and gave them wisdom and courage. May the Holy Spirit descend upon our nation, its citizens and leaders, its friends, partners and supporters, and bring wisdom, courage and peace to South Sudan. May God bless you all.

Given this 16th day of June 2016 in Juba, South Sudan.

 Read the original article at Comboni South Sudan

[1] All quotes in this paragraph are from Amoris Laetitia.

[2] All quotes in this paragraph are   from “An appeal to the Catholic Church to recommit to the centrality of Gospel nonviolence”, Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International.

Written by  William A.Twayigize

Lake Kivu forms the western border of Rwanda. It is a natural dividing line between Rwanda and the DR Congo. Millions of Rwandans and Congolese live on the hills that slope down to the lake such as Mount Rubavu and other mountains found in the region.
This story from Nature talks about the potential hazards that lie right beneath in the lake Kivu: it's full of gas, some carbon dioxide but mostly methane, and these gases pose a substantial risk to local people but also an opportunity to lift up living conditions of the people of Rwanda, especially those who live at the shores of Lake Kivu. I would want to remind the reader that if they're released from the water, they have the potential to sicken or kill people and animals along the shoreline. In addition, the country of Rwanda does not have either resources or expertise to extract, process, and sell these gases to benefit its poor industries and uplift the lives of Rwandans in general. Methane--might also prove to be a valuable energy resource for Rwandans. Lack of reliable energy supplies is a major concern in the country as it tries to expand economic activity and only 15% of Rwandans who have access to electricity.
The question going around among natural resources and investment experts is whether can the gas be extracted safely so that businesses so that it can be turned into electricity. The Rwandan government has already entered into concessions with energy companies to do this and these concessions are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Scientists, however, disagree about the best technologies and strategies for extracting the resources and existing projects have had limited success. The following are some issues being raised regarding commercialization of exploitation of the Methane Gas in Gisenyi, Lake Kivu.
One is whether will methane provide another basis for resource-based conflict in an area with entirely too much resource-based conflict considering that there have been a decade long conflict over natural resources in the region, and two, assuming an extraction process is identified that is safe and cost-effective, what mechanisms exist for promoting accountability and transparency with regard to the income generation stream these contracts will generate? Or, will these projects devolve into financial crisis marred by corruption or the Kigali government is ready to establish a transparent system that promote community based effective management of the natural resources to empower local residents and improve the living conditions of Rwandans to ensure that there are accountability, equality, and transparency in how the income from these natural resources are used to uplift the lives of the millions of Rwandans.
My recommendations are that Rwandan government should avoid the previous mistakes of some different African countries that landed them into bloody conflict leaving people in dire poverty. Establishing a good system to manage natural resources by involving local people would yield more positive results and impact local communities and all Rwandan economy in general.  Careful development of these resources has the potential to further bolster the country's growing private sector and stabilize the country which is marred by competition over limited resources.

Written by  William A.Twayigize

Republic of Rwanda

Sponsored by REMA/UNEP/UNDP

EA II STUDY. A Summary.                                                                                                                                                                                         February, 2011 2

Table of Contents

LIST OF ABBREVIATIONS................................................................................................................................................................. 3
1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................................................................................................................ 3
2. METHODOLOGY ......................................................................................................................................................................... 9
2.1.Statement of the problem and research questions................................................................................................................................ 9
2.2. Objectives ............................................................................................................................................................................ 10
2.3. Hypotheses........................................................................................................................................................................... 10
2. 4. Approaches.......................................................................................................................................................................... 11
2.5. Field data............................................................................................................................................................................. 11
2.6. Data sources ........................................................................................................................................................................ 15
3. THE CASE OF RUGEZI WETLANDS .................................................................................................................................................. 15
3.1 The Rugezi wetlands................................................................................................................................................................ 15
3.2. Water and land use conditions in Rugezi Catchment area.................................................................................................................... 17
3.3. Goods and economic activities. .................................................................................................................................................. 24
3.4. The dynamics of Rugezi and lakes water levels ............................................................................................................................... 25
3.5. Comparison of exploited and non exploited areas of Rugezi ................................................................................................................ 30
3.6. Summary of soil analysis.......................................................................................................................................................... 37
POLICY OPTIONS AND CHOICES ..................................................................................................................................................... 50
4.1. Introduction......................................................................................................................................................................... 50
4.2. Scenarios of Rugezi Valley use ................................................................................................................................................... 51
LESSONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS.................................................................................................................................................. 57
5.1. Environment management as national priority Vision 2020 ................................................................................................................... 57
5.2. MDGs................................................................................................................................................................................. 57
Bibliography .............................................................................................................................................................................. 60

EA II STUDY. A Summary.                                                                                                                                                                                              February, 2011 3


DFID Department for International Development
EA I Economic Analysis I
EDPRS Economic Development and Poverty Reduction
GIS Geographical Information System
IWRM Integrated Water Resources Management
MINAGRI Ministry of Agriculture
MINECOFIN Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning
MINISANTE Ministry of Health
NUR National University of Rwanda
PRSP Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
REMA Rwanda Environmental Management Authority
RoR Republic of Rwanda
SIDA Swedish International Development Agency
UNEP United Nations Environmental Programme
WHO World Health Organisation
WRI World Resource Institute


Economic Analysis of natural resources use in Rwanda is grounded in the natural resources, environment and sustainable development inquiry. It is a Phase II study sponsored by REMA, UNEP and UNDP.

EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 4

In the report the argument posited in Phase I is asserted more closely with a narrower scope and a more rigorous inquiry. That is; natural resources in Rwanda are important in contributing to livelihoods, poverty reduction and sustainable development yet existing evidence show high levels of degradation and cost to the Rwandan economy. Most notably the first to feel the impact of degradation are the communities living around the natural resource - hotspots in Rwanda. Natural resources or environment has been deliberately and strategically included in the EDPRS process. The role of the natural resources and the environment has to be more visible than in the first generation of Poverty Reduction Strategy. While the original aim of the study was to assemble information for the drawing up of the EDPRS, data and information collected will continue to be useful in the implementation phases. The study underlines areas that need  emphasis and where detailed inquiry can influence implementation and future reviews of EDPRS. Natural resources broadly referring to environment in Rwanda are a public good that has to
contribute to economic growth. Ecosystem system services are important for the livelihoods of the majority of Rwandans. However for a longtime the significance and their contribution to economic growth have not meted commensurate appreciation. Nonetheless the cost of degradation of the environment has shown the opportunity cost of over-exploiting environment resources for economic development. If the natural resources were well managed without destroying the environment (and in cases protecting it) the costs would have been avoided and growth would have probably been higher.

Phase II is more a focused study. Instead of analyzing natural resources and environment broadly only water and land use are studied. The approach provides a more evidence based analysis that can provide tangible lessons for policy. In relation to the question of cost of degradation and the significance of natural resources and the ecosystem services functions Rugezi Wetlands is used as a case study. Inquiry is focused on costs and benefits of sustainable and  unsustainable use of land and water. The benefits and costs can be in monetary or non monetary terms. The purpose of Phase II Report is to identify constraints and opportunities for poverty reduction and economic growth based on sustainable land and water use. In a nutshell it serves as a case analysis about
how sustainable use of natural resources can promote pro-poor growth. The report is organized as follows; Section 2 gives a backgroundon the link between poverty and environment, the position of water and land in the development planning and implementation and in particular the EDPRS process which this study should inform and support. Section 3 outlines the conceptual and theoretical framework on the integrated nature of the natural resources analysis. What do we know about wetlands with regard to water and land use? What do we need to know in relation to Rwanda and how can we know it using Rugezi?
Section 4 outlines the methodology used while Section 5 assesses the situation of water and natural resource use in Rwanda. Section 6 contains a detailed report of survey and secondary data on Rugezi Wetlands. The first part is more on the socio-economic returns of the survey while the second is on more professional soil and water analysis sub studies. Section 7 delves into the future of natural resource use. Specifically if policy attitude would continue to be ‘business as usual’ what would the scenario in 5, 10 and 15 years look like? Specifically is also an assessment of policy choices. The central question is whether conservation
and protecting Rugezi Wetlands is better for pro-poor growth compared to alternative sustainable management of the wetlands with regard to water and land. Unlike in EA I more concrete data from Rugezi wetlands are used. Section 8 focuses on the lessons and recommendations to be drawn with focus on the policy implications. The penultimate part contains appendices.

EA II STUDY. A Summary.                                 February, 2011 5


Rwanda is a dominantly agricultural economy. More than 90 per cent of the population live in rural areas and depend on agriculture for employment. Total land area is 2.634 million ha equivalent to 26,388 square kilometres. Of these 12 per cent is covered by forests, 32 per cent by shrub lands, savanna and grasslands and 8 per cent wetlands (WRI 2000). While it is evident that depending on land makes natural resources an important source of livelihood in the country, over the last four to seven decades there is evidence that the environment has gradually been degraded. Rwanda is still a beautiful country because of its
environment. It is sensible in scientific terms to estimate the benefits, the monetary and non monetary gains and potentials of the beauty. But there is also growing evidence that there has been massive degradation and unsustainable natural resource use in the last seven to ten decades (Dixon and Homer 1995, Baechler 1999). While users of land and water in the past were doing it for economic gains the evidence being assembled point to high costs of the unsustainable use in the past. The report uses data and information to argue for a shift in policy towards a more sustainable use of resources in Rwanda. It attempts to contribute to the dialogue on how natural resources particularly wetlands can be used for economic gain without compromising its potential contribution to future generation. Data hitherto available indicate albeit generally, increasingly drying wetlands and lowering of water levels of water bodies and lakes, massive deforestation and extensive soil erosion1. Of the natural forests that occupied most of Rwanda more than 90 per cent have perished. Soil erosion is
felt in more than 50 per cent of Rwandan households. Health related diseases are still common afflictions and causes of morbidity. Water pollution and siltation of rivers and wetlands are still common phenomena and formidable problems to contend with (Musabe et al 2006). Natural causes like topography of Rwanda have caused massive soil erosion. However substantial erosions of the soil have been caused by many years of deforestation of catchment areas and watersheds as well as unsustainable agriculture most pressingly on hilly to mountainous slopes. A considerable amount of soil erosion can be controlled by people. A lot of good soil and water is carried by rivers out of Rwanda. Yet it is possible to evolve methods of using water and land resources in a more sustainable manner and in a way that augments the livelihoods of the people. It is the human dimension of the natural resources use and management that is crucial for current
debates. Why must policy frameworks such as poverty reduction strategy papers and Vision 2020 take adequate measures to address problems of environment and natural resources? The first obvious constraint of environmental scarcity has been demand induced. Population of Rwanda has been relatively very high at global rates both in absolute and real terms (see Table 1). Rwandans continue to depend extensively on land and water based resources to meet social and
economic needs. Cropland has occupied about 47 per cent of land area (WRI 2000). Marshlands and forests still support a majority of Rwandan livelihoods. Fuel, timber, honey, building material and other natural products are a considerable stock of goods from natural base. Tourism was for a long time a third source of foreign exchange in Rwanda after coffee and tea (Waller 1999). The relation between man and these resources is crucial to how Rwanda can shape future paths out of 1 EA I give data on costs of degradation and gives survey returns on two hotspot areas of Gishwati Forests and Rugezi Wetlands in general. EA II focuses on land and water use more closely and for Rugezi in particular

EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 6

poverty to prosperity. It is therefore understandable why ENR are increasingly accorded prominence in EDPRS and Vision 2020. Water use presents even a better case for sustainable use of resources for growth and poverty reduction. Rwanda has a dense hydrological network. It is drained by the Nile and Congo Rivers.
The Nile Drainage system drains the part of Rwanda to the East of the Congo-Nile divide (a 25 km watershed). It covers 67 per cent of the country and receives 97 per cent of the national rainfall. The drainage is about 8-10 per cent of all Nile Waters. Yet Rwanda uses very little of the water as will be demonstrated shortly, for enhancing agricultural production and poverty reduction. The Rivers and Lakes cover 135,000 ha or 5 per cent of the territory. Wetlands cover 164,000 ha or 6 per cent of the territory. Of these the largest are Akanyaru (3,000ha), Nyabarongo (10,000 ha) and Rugezi (5,000 ha).Other important wetlands in Rwanda are Mugesera-Rugwero and Akagera Swamps. Some 94,000 ha of all wetlands are under cultivation (FAO 2000). The central question has been how to use the remaining land and water resources in promoting economic growth and reducing poverty? With more empirical evidence from Phase II and a body in form of Environment Management Authority, operating under a full government mandate, it will be possible to effectively mainstream environment in EDPRS in a manner that will contribute to sustainable economic development. An integrated approach adopted by the study will enable various government institutions to develop coordination that links aspects of the environmental management to optimize performance ofindividual economic sectors. Infrastructure such as terracing,
reforestation and water management within marshes constitute elements of one integrated approach. These are also related to the energy sector, encouraging more efficient use of fuel wood and sourcing for alternative energy sources. The mode of participation in the use of natural resources will be supported and regulated by the land law and policy. It is within the framework that the Land and Water resource uses of Rugezi area (wetlands and the surrounding community)
are being used as the focus of the study in EA II. Rugezi is used as a case study that brings out concretely not only the array of constraints to our contention in the study but also existing opportunities. In order to achieve sustainable development, environmental protection shall constitute an integral part of the development process and cannot be considered in isolation with it. Sustainable human development should be able to meet needs of the present generation without compromising the needs of future generations. In EA Phase II of the study our main focus is marshlands as an embedment of both water and land in its catchment. Although the report is grossly on Rwanda more concrete focus is Rugezi Wetlands. The importance of the latter is not only confined to Rwanda. Together with interlinked Lakes Bulera and Ruhondo the wetlands are protected under the Ramsar Convention. At conceptual and empirical levels therefore analysis on Rugezi Wetlands is not delinked to global concerns on environmental degradation and the need to rethink policy on resource use and management that is sustainable. Following from the observation above, it is noteworthy that half of the world’s wetlands have been lost in the last century. About 80 per cent of grasslands are suffering from soil degradation. Every minute 28 hectares of forests are lost. The root causes of habitat and biodiversity loss are largely institutional and socio-economic (World Bank 2006) EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 7 There are three challenges that can be pointed out with regards to operationalisation of concepts related to wetlands and marshlands. Firstly is the difficulty of quantification and evaluation. The value of wetlands is known to be unappreciable in any society. However the real price tag and how to assign the value to a unit area is still far from precise. EA I and now EA II emphasizes the
need for a detailed and more scientific evaluation of Rugezi and other wetlands. Data in the report are estimates based on samples of limited reliability and estimated from elsewhere in the world. Appendix 3 summarizes types of evaluation methods. It is noteworthy however that in Phase I the cost of degradation of resources was used to how much is being spent because of past practices. In Phase II some data on soil and water as elements of natural resources use have been collected and are presented. A second challenge then is how to use the usefulness of the resources to justify poverty reduction and sustainable growth. For Rugezi again it was easy to use the impact on energy generation downstream the Wetlands to justify the link to economic growth. However an appropriate
approach has been to use available data on ecosystem and how it is linked to well being and human development. In a situation where quantification is a problem even the relationship between consumption and income poverty and wetlands is not easy. The link between ecosystem services and human development approaches has just been attempted in Rwanda. As more studies and data will be made available robust indicators of poverty and environment will be developed
and the value of wetlands can better be appreciated than now. In the report a more descriptive analysis is advanced based on field visits of three national consultants and one international expert. Nevertheless in a context of water and land use focused in the current phase, there is a need to carry out location specific estimates of water related poverty and climate change vulnerability. Section 4 few data is provided in relation to why Rwanda needs to use more of the water that is available to reduce poverty. Using a Water Poverty Index it is possible to analyze not only water that is available in Rwanda (stock of resources) but how it can be accessed for poverty reduction. A third challenge is how to use an integrated approach to the question of natural resources and
poverty reduction or economic growth. Rwanda has attempted to use a ‘catchment’ approach. The focus is thus not the water and land in the Rugezi valley or any other wetland. The integrated approach has been to take on board issues of the land surrounding the area and in this regard also the role of underground water. In the problem a conceptual distinction of ‘green’ water from ‘blue’ water has been used to emphasize the role of managing forests and grasslands surrounding
valleys and wetlands. The integrated approach includes also water that is not necessarily flowing directly into the lakes, rivers and marshes.

EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 9

2.1.Statement of the problem and research questions
Rwanda enjoys rich wet seasons and it has a good hydrographic network that should satisfy the increasing demand in water. However, the underground water is seriously threatened by increasing massive deforestation and degradation due to high population growth that depend onwood as the main domestic energy source. In other words the rate of use of ‘green’ water in Rwanda is low. Additionally inadequate agricultural technologies that do not take into account social costs caused by poor agricultural production contribute to water resources degradation. At the same time, across the country, there is a lot of wastage of water including inexcusable tolerance of activities that pollute or deplete underground sources (MINITERE, 2004). While on one hand there is apparently unsustainable use of ‘green’ water in some valleys and marshes there is at the same time a low level of withdrawal of ‘blue’ water from rivers (Sadoff 2005 and SIDA 2005) and sub optimal uses of wetlands such as low or zero fishing in most of the lakes mentioned in Section 5 below..
Besides that the population pressure is high Rwanda is generally poor. The 2002 national population census report documented that the population density had reached 322 inhabitants per sq. km(RoR 2003). More than 70 per cent have less than a hectare of land. But FAO estimates that a family needs at least 0.75 of ha to support agriculture that can provide adequate nutrition to the family. The problem of reduced size of cultivated land per household is observed across the
whole country and it is becoming more and more obvious that the Rwandan family farm unit is no longer viable (MINITERE, 2004). About 92 per cent of Rwandan inhabitants live in the rural areas and 90 per cent of them depend on agriculture. The per capita income is estimated to be US$ 250. The incidence of poverty below a national poverty which was sightly above 60 per cent till recently has declined by less than 4 per cent point in the last five years(RoR 2006).
Moreover the generic nature of the problem is accentuated by the fact that more than 70 per cent of the poor are in the rural areas depending on agriculture for a livelihood. Rwanda has a hilly topography and as a consequence, more than 50 per cent of farm holds experience severe forms of soil and fluvial erosion. Because of land scarcity there is over cultivation of agricultural fields and almost all marginal lands are being utilized. The gross consequences are falling yields from
agriculture. Due to demographic pressure man based environmental degradation and lack of application of modern methods of agriculture productivity per area of all major crops has been declining since 1990s (MINITERE, 2006). Against the above described situation facing land and water resources in Rwanda, the questions that come to the mind are:

    Are the current land and water resources use sustainable?
    What are the costs and benefits of the current practices in land and water resources use?
    Who are the losers and the gainers of the current practices?
    What are the alternative community-based, bottom-up, pro-poor and sustainable policy  options? Which are the approaches?

EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 10
2.2. Objectives
The main objective:

    To assess the costs and benefits, in monetary and non-monetary terms, of sustainable and unsustainable land and water use in order to highlight the  importance  of environmental sustainability to poverty reduction over time.
    To identify constraints and opportunities for sustainable poverty reducing economic growth based on sustainable land and water use.


    Undertake a detailed field study to identify and quantify the impact of unsustainable land use (over cultivation, soil erosion, deforestation etc.) and the impact of unsustainable water uses (pollution, depletion, diseases, time taken to collect water, inadequate water for agriculture, lower production, fertilizer run-off impact on water quality etc.) on the socio-economic benefits2 provided by land and water. • Identify significant links between land and water uses and how environmental sustainability impacts on these. E.g. soil erosion and water linkages, deforestation and inadequate quantities of fuel wood for boiling water and cooking; • Identify and describe sustainable land and water management approaches (e.g. multicropping, soil conservation measures, targeted application of fertilisers and pesticideswithin sustainable land and water use framework, Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM);
    Suggest and analyze (using integrated economic and environmental appraisalmethodologies such as comprehensive cost-benefit analysis) options for sustainable landand water uses, particularly pro-poor options that have greater impact on povertyreduction and broader human-well being. Relate findings to policy issues;4
    Use the Rugezi wetlands as the field study site;
    Based on the detailed field work and other sources of data, plus analysis of multiplierimpacts, estimate the sectoral and macro-level impact of unsustainable and sustainableland and water use on the projected growth and poverty reduction rates in the short,medium and long term (EDPRS). A scenario approach should be considered, includingto present ‘if-then’ estimates;
    Give clear recommendations on strategic priority actions to maximize and maintain thesustainable the flow of ecosystem service benefits to people in the long term in order toreduce poverty and improve other human development indicators. (Suchrecommendations are to be aimed at inclusion in EDPRS);

2.3. Hypotheses

EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 11
Based on the objectives of this study, three main hypotheses will be tested:

    The current land and water uses in Rwanda are unsustainable; they do not take into account the fact that these are exhaustible resources.
    The costs of unsustainable practices in land and water uses will overweigh the social benefits in the future and this will compromise the social welfare of the future generations.
    Sustainable use and management of wetlands is more likely to be beneficial to communities and the economy than mere protection on hand and unregulated or purely commercial , agricultural or other ‘free entry’ land use.

2. 4. Approaches
The study will use two holistic approaches namely Ecosystem Approach and Integrated Water Resource Management Approach (IWRMA) to analyze water and land use practices in Rwanda. The ecosystem approach used in Phase I includes goods and services as well as regulation and non market services such as tourism. It has capacity to include in analysis benefits and costs that are either monetary or non monetary. As mentioned in the previous section it augurs well with the
focus on human development of people living in the catchment of the wetland. An IWRM approach promotes the coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. This includes more coordinated development and management of:

    land and water,
    surface water and groundwater,
    the river basin or wetland and its adjacent environment,
    upstream and downstream interests.

2.5. Field data

Data from 60 households were collected from Rugezi wetlands. Data collected around Butaro represent cases of degraded wetlands where use was unregulated. Data from Ruhunde are data from the part of Rugezi that is generally not degraded and where protection means an undisturbed ecosystem. There are all sorts of data and information that are presented in Section 6. These include information on goods and services in the marshes and responses of communities on protection.
Interview responses from the markets shed light on goods availability and alternatives to diminishing goods from the study area. In relation to changing climate data on rainfall was collected from Ministry of Infrastructure Kigali. There are primary data sets on soil and water. These offer a professional analysis using sample data on soil erosion, texture and fertility as well as pollution of water and siltation
EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 12

Except for the more scientific soil and water analyses, the bulk of the data in the case study section were collected using a questionnaire. The questionnaire sought to assemble data on household information, goods and services from land and water use and costs of using low water quality. They were carried out between the month of December 2006 and March 2007.
2.5.2 Soil Analysis

Sustainable land use in Rugezi cannot be achieved without a thorough knowledge about the soils erodibility and fertility aspects. In order to have a comprehensive approach, this section of soil study in Rugezi has taken a water basin approach where soils on the surrounding hills of Rugezi as well as those in the wetland were sampled and scientifically analyzed. The results give a clear guidance for the future sustainable use of Rugezi watershed area. The preliminary study was carried out in two sectors representing degraded area (Butaro 2,3,4,5 See Map 1) and no-degraded area (Cyeru 1 and Butaro 1). The section of Rugezi watershed found
in Butaro Sector had been subjected to cultivation of Potatoes, Maize and vegetables production for the last 20 years, while the section of Cyeru Sector and a small part of Butaro were almost protected. Due to heterogeneous nature of the area, 6 representative study sites were selected within the entire study area. Erodibility indices were determined on the 12 sub-sites using an updated apparatus named “Rainfall simulator”. Two rainfall intensities were used based on the rainfall intensity in the region and a mean soil loss per ha per year was extracted using the annual rainfall from Meteorology station of Rwerere. In addition soil samples were collected in the 12 stub-sites for soil fertility parameters determination. Selected key soil quality parameters such as: Soil Organic Carbon, Soil pH, Particle size analysis, Soil texture, Effective cation exchange capacity and Soil N,P and S were determined in the Soil Science laboratory of ISAR-Rubona. Updated laboratory methods were
performed to determine the mentioned parameters. Finally, the results from the field and laboratory work were used to characterize comprehensively the status of the selected study sites and a general extrapolation on the entire Rugezi watershed (Burera District section) was attempted. The data were subjected to the Genstat V computer package for statistical analysis.
2.4.3 Water analysis

The main task was to identify the possibility of pollution to water sources due to human activities such as fertilizer use, run off from poorly cultivated land, land and water use practice in general and to identify the possible impacts to human health, the environment and general livelihood of the users To ensure the production of reliable and useful data within a limited time the following methodologies were applied in this study; site visit, interviews with local people, health care
givers at the health centre and water sampling and analysis.
Site Visit and Interviews

EA II STUDY. A Summary. February, 2011 13
Site visit helped to establish sampling sites and identification of water quality parameters to be analyzed since the information on the water uses and different activities including agricultural practice were obtained through physical observation and discussion with local people. This also helped to identify the common diseases in the area to be able to link the quality of water and common diseases in the area.
Water Sampling and Analysis

Three different Sampling sites were identified at the most degraded area of RUGEZI wetland and different sampling points were established. Part of Rugezi wetland studied is in RUSUMO Sector. Factor attributed to the selection of these sites are: 1. Physical appearance of the water bodies 2. Different uses of water
Sampling Point Description

Activities in and at the neighboring vicinity of the water body Importance of the receiving environment of the discharge resulting from human activities
around that water body. Table below indicates the sampling points and assigned code to each sampling point relative to other sampling point. Due to the time constraints samples were collected once but in triple per sampling point. For the purpose of this study every type of samples were defined S1 to S6.
Three different sampling sites and respective sampling points were identified as follows with the explanation in table 1 bellow:
Table : Water Quality Sampling Sites, Their Physical Characteristic and Uses
Some more of the information is still continuing later

Written by  William A.Twayigize

African woman has been managing our natural resources such as land, water, crops, forests, and minerals for millions of years. However, her role has remained the same over ages. The one to manage these natural resources without having access to controlling this land. In fact, in some communities a woman is given the rights to manage land only if her husband is still alive. When her husband passes on, the woman’s in-laws are customary allowed to uproot the widow from all that she had access to while her husband was still alive such as children, land, livestock, and other socioeconomic benefits.

Traditionally, in Africa women are the managers of natural resources such as land, water, livestock, forests, and humans as well. Why should I include humans as natural resources? In my own views, in some African communities they see children as assets and wealth. They are valued as investment and capital. In fact, some decades ago humans were the sources of wealth and access to natural resources. It did not matter whether one had access to natural resources as long as he/she had numerous children. They could be valued as natural resources because they are God given and they can be used for economic gain. According to the Oxford Dictionary “materials or substances such as minerals, forests, water, and fertile land that occur in nature and can be used for economic gain.” I would also suggest that human resources should be included among elements of natural resources because they occur in nature though humans are not material or substances such as minerals, water, wood, forests, and land. However, they are involved in wealth creation.

Moving away from the argument of whether humans can be taken as natural resources or not we can now move back to our arguments of women as natural resources managers and conflict prevention. In African community women take care of our land, water, forests, minerals, and other resources that sustain us. We all grow up seeing our mothers waking up very early in the morning to attend to our farms, rivers, forests, and livestock in order for the families to survive and prosper. They account everything that happens in our society. For over centuries women have managed African natural resources effectively and continue to do so without any complaints. They have either directly or indirectly contributed to the stability which our various nations enjoy but are the ones who bear most blunts of conflict minerals that have ravaged our respective counties. Still women have not been fully integrated into the natural resources management jurisdiction, which involves stewardship, decision-making process, and the responsibility of the end results cycle.
What does this means?

It means that African society has left women with the burden to take care of our natural resources but without entrusting them with ability to control the natural resources and making decisions that affect how these natural resources are used, how they are used, when they are used an for what purpose they are used for. This is how the process of natural resources management in African society has been for centuries:

    Women as stewards of natural resources: in this capacity a) women work on the farms, attend to the farms and their produce from the farm. They take all the produces to their households to wait for their men to make decisions of how they are used. In some households men prefer to involve their women in decision-making process of how the resources are going to be used, but not all households do that. In fact, some heads of household prefer to decide how the resources are going to be spent without involving their women at all. They can either choose to share the produce all take it all leaving with their families with something little to survive on. This leads us to the next point which the decision-making process.
    Women and decision-making process of natural resources management in African society: Though they have been significant changes in the last two decades due to different programs that have been supporting women so that they are empowered to make decisions of how to use their resources, still there are many households where women have no access to decision-making process of how natural resources are spent either in their household or within their communities. The decision-making process is the most important one because it decides how natural resources income is going to be spent, when and how it would be spent. Looking at the level of poverty among rural women in Africa compared to their male counterpart, you could easily understand that women’s plights are violated at this level. This is because, as we said earlier, women are the ones who spend most of their time and energy taking care of family land, but they are not involved at the decision-making level of how these resources that women have been working hard to produce are used. This introduces us to the level three which deals with responsibilities and end results.
    Women, responsibilities and end results: at this level we only see those women who are lucky to have caring husbands who value them and involve them in decision-making process. They are involved in sharing responsibilities of how money is going to be shared and what for. I cannot also ignore that men who have skipped level of in involving women in the decision-making process of how the household’s natural resources are going to be spent might involve their women in Level three by letting their women participate in few responsibilities and end-results which includes giving their women to buy things the family needs. A man might want his wife to come up a list of things needed by the family and dictates the priorities of those things for the sake of the family’s survival. However, when a woman is involved later in the process of natural resources management without active participation in all three levels might not be sustainable, because one side might feel being used, which might lead to domestic conflict and low level of motivation in natural resources management demonstrated by low input on a woman’s side. This would increase household poverty.

There are no doubts that, though in Africa, women have been traditional managers of our land there have been so little or nothing to empower women to take control of the management of our natural resources not only taking care of these resources, but also to actively participate in controlling and making decisions that set guidelines on how these resources should be spent. African government should come up with policies that ensure that women have better access to, and control of, natural resources such as land, water, forests and minerals to improve community living conditions, improve public health, and stimulate economic growth. This would facilitate to maintain social stability creating a good environment for long-term sustained peace within the country. Apart from that, where countries have been in civil conflict, women in natural resources management would create an equitable environment for peace recovery process.

Africa has born all blunts of conflicts that the world has known in the last 5 decades. When all this happens African women and children in conflict-torn regions are always the primary victims of war. They lose access to drinking water, food, and energy to cook for or warm their families.  When the war is on these women and children are the ones to become refugees, widows, internally displaced people, are mass-raped and even killed. Despite all the above, women remain largely excluded from owning land, benefiting from wealth creation, or participating in decision-making process. In this regard women cannot have access to capital so that they can be involved in financial activities which would allow them to influence both political and policy decisions that are important in governing a country. This also prevents women from participating in deciding how resources are negotiated and are allocated. We have seen that poor and unfair location of natural resources are important to influence the stability of any country. Many conflicts in Africa have been caused by lack of transparency in natural resources management, which lead to some communities to have more access on resources creation than others, which caused community resentment and revolt. When women are involved in managing and deciding how resources are used and where, this would enhance community coexistence and peacebuilding process. A country like Kenya has been on the right track to enhancing community stability by including women in the constitution to grant them rights to land inheritance of which many countries in Africa have not. This will reduce land related conflict and promote self-sufficiency within communities.

African regional organizations such as Southern African Development Community (SADC), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), East African Community (EAC), Economic Community of the Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) have to implemented policies that  empower rural women in order to engage in activities that promote effective natural resources management such as microfinance literacy,  modern agriculture, instead of food crops that do not involve economic activities.

For the countries which have been in war, women suffer the brunt of conflicts in many ways. They become widows when their husbands are killed and become refugees. However, when it comes to seeking peace women are not actively involved as agents of peacebuilding and recovery. Effective management of our natural resource remains a cornerstone of community and national development. This is one of the reasons women should be actively involved in both processes natural resources management and peacebuilding. African countries have been blessed with huge and various minerals. Effective management of these natural resources in mineral forms are very important for the sustainable employment opportunities and sustainable peace.

Creating women representatives who are in charge of natural resources management activities within the government is equally important as women empowerment. Women should not be confined in traditional role of natural resources management such as tending to the land, farms, forests among others but be allowed to actively participate in decision-making that allow women to make decisions on how and when these resources are used. This will enhance community-based natural resources management, promote economic growth, and facilitate accountability in our communities. More importantly, it will bring sustainable peace for our future.

Written by  William A.Twayigize


This paper will discuss community-based natural resources management in Rwanda with a focus on natural resources, especially a 65 billion cubic meters of the Methane gas found in Lake Kivu, which is found between Rwanda and Eastern DR Congo, in North Western Rwanda. The paper will also look at different types of natural resource minerals, which have been in exploitation in Rwanda. Those minerals are ores like cassiterite (SnO2), niobotantalite (Nb, Ta) 2O5, wolframite (Fe, Mn), WO4, beryl, spodumene, amblygonite, monazite, and gold (Au) ( The paper will highlight some of the available natural resources in Rwanda but the government has not yet exploited them or they are underexploited and don’t bring a lot to the  country’s economy. We will try and make some recommendations of what the country can do to benefit from these natural resources that are underexploited in order to benefit from them.

Another product that contributes immensely to the country’s economy is coffee. The Rwandan coffee contributes a lot to the Rwandan international exportation.  This paper will look at how the grassroots community, especially rural women have been involved in natural resources management in Rwanda since independence. Like in other countries, Rwandan natural resources include: water and water catchment areas, land, forests, minerals and natural gas, and wildlife.

Rwanda is blessed to have volcanic soil, which is rich and fertile. Rwanda grows one of the best mountainous coffee which is liked at the international market. This paper will pay more attention to Methane gas deposited at the floor of Lake Kivu in Gisenyi. We will look at how it has been exploited since independence, how it has benefited Rwandans, and how much the Kigali government is investing in this rare resources to promote it commercially in order to contribute to the building of the Rwandan economy.

The paper will discuss the natural gas called “Gaz Methane” or Methane Gas. It will look at how the community can be actively involved in managing Methane Gas to benefit enhance transparency, management effectiveness, and promote both national and local economic growth. The paper will expand its discussions to demonstrate if the Rwandan Methane Gas was fully exploited would not only benefit Rwandans but also the entire East African Community. Remember that countries involved in the East African Community such as Rwanda, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Burundi, and Southern Sudan all import natural gas (Compressed Natural Gas) from outside of Africa. This means that Rwanda has a readily available market in East Africa region. Therefore, Rwandan natural gas of Methane gas would benefit from the East African market if it were effectively exploited and managed.

The paper will include recommendations on how natural resources in Rwanda can be managed effectively by involving community members of where those resources are exploited to ensure transparency, accountability, sustainability, and community-based economic empowerment. This would include all members of the community, especially focusing on women and youth in order to enhance gender empowerment in Rwanda. It will also include a Community-based Natural Resources Effective Management Theoretical Framework that demonstrates the interaction among all stakeholders to enhance the country’s socioeconomic policies that would improve how natural resources are managed in Rwanda. This will incorporate the government, the natural resources management policies, and the community members and demonstrate how the three institutions can come together to efficiently manage our natural resources to benefit all Rwandans.

According to Princeton University’s website, Rwanda’s economy was relatively stable in 1960s and 1970s. However, this stability was not attributed to the efficiency of natural resources management, but prudent financial policies that the Gregory Kayibanda’s government put in place immediately after independence. After establishing economic policies that boosted economic growth, the Kayibanda’s government also got international support through foreign aid coupled with good terms of trade. This resulted in sustained economic growth that saw the Rwandan Franc become stronger against American Dollar and other foreign currencies. The GDP of the country was relatively stable and inflation rates was kept relatively low to make every commodity affordable by the common Rwandan. This economic growth was sustained by good world coffee prices considering that Rwandan economy relies heavily on coffee export. However this was not sustainable because of fluctuation and sharp fall in international coffee prices and Rwandan economic growth started being erratic (Van Der Meeren, R.1996; Nkurunziza, J. D., & Ngaruko, F. 2002; Though Rwanda has various natural resources which were not yet exploited then, the main source of export of Rwanda was the coffee. This made it very hard for the government to diversify its income of the external currency.

After Rwandan government failed to invest in diversifying it’s the harvest of its natural resources, Rwandan economy started slowing down significantly. The annual GDP growth rate of jumped from 6.5% in 1973 and 1980, growth to an average of 2.9% a year from 1980 to 1985 and was further weakened in 1986 all the way to 1990, partly because of the western free market ideology which aggressively championed by the former Britain Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher to liberalize and privatize public institutions of production (McLean, I. (2001). In Rwanda, the economic reform in the Western was coupled with political problems which faced the Habyarimana’s government. This economic crisis peaked in early 1990s not only because of the IMF economic structural adjustment program carried out in Rwanda, but also the military invasion from Uganda and political uncertainty that characterized the entire country then. Many coffee plantations were deserted by workers due to war and remained unattended for years. Many farmers became internal displaced peoples (IDPs) (Mosley, P., & Weeks, J. 1993; Fosu, A. K. 1999; Chossudovsky, M. 1996; Storey, A. 2001; Stone, R. W. (2004). This crippled Rwanda’s economy faster since coffee was the only capital resources that Rwanda had relied on for years for its foreign currency. In addition, the IMF economic structural adjustment program did not achieve the intended results of reviving economic growth in Rwanda. This is because it focused on implementing large monetary devaluations and the removal of official set prices. The consequences were huge and catastrophic on salaried employees and their purchasing power of the Rwandan middle class. The economic problems of 1980s and 1990s and poor and short sighted IMF economic structural adjustment which did not take into account of diversifying in exploitation of the country’s natural resources. This would have created new market and expanded on the existing ones to bring in new revenues and sustain the economic growth. However, the end results of poor economic performance in Rwanda ended up pitching Rwandan communities against each other as they blamed each side to be the cause of poverty and economic stagnation. The end results were the civil of 1990s that claimed millions of lives of the Rwandan people (Sachs, J. D., Warner, A., Åslund, A., & Fischer, S. 1995; Block, S. A. 2002; Chossudovsky, M. 2003).  When the Rwandan genocide happened the Rwandan economy stood still and again it started and the real GDP registered 9% increase in 1995, the first postwar year. This was a sign of the renaissance of economic activity in Rwanda, partly due to international economic support to the new formed government of the national unity.

There have been a lot development activities in Rwanda, especially in the natural resources exploitation and management. After the genocide, the Kigali government supported with development partners embarked on various projects to diversify and improve economy and decrease its external foreign aid and its dependence on subsistence farming, of which over 85% of agriculture in Rwanda is done in an old traditional farming way. Unlike many African countries, Rwanda’s overpopulation remains its most economic challenge and security threat due to confrontational competition for scarce farmland and other natural resources. Rwanda has limited industries to process its subsistence produces. However, Rwandan has less trade barriers in the region, which would be good for commercializing its natural resources deposited underneath its soil. The Kigali government continued working on rehabilitating Tea and Coffee plantations and factories. It also continues to diversify its sources of foreign currency although Rwanda's natural resources are limited with only 5% of foreign exchange earnings were produced by a very small mineral industry.

For over a century, Rwanda has been exporting minerals such as cassiterite, columbite-tantalite, and wolframite, which are the basis of Rwanda’s international export. The other minerals are some little gold and sapphires. However, in its bid to expand and diversify its economic income, Rwanda has turned to its rich natural gas called Methane Gas found in plenty in Lake Kivu. Though the production of this natural gas started over 30 years ago, it was a monopoly of the Rwandan brewery owned by a Dutch brewing company, the Heineken Group, which owns over 75% of the shares of the BRALIRWA. If were evaluated, the commercial exploitation of the Methane gas would contribute to the provision of fuel sources to many Rwandans and their industries reducing the depletion of the forests in search of fuel for cooking and heating their homes.

According to Tietze, et al. Rwanda started using Methane gas commercially in 1963. Although it started as a research project which was based at the Cape Rubona station. Later it started producing around  8,000 cubic meters of Methane gas on daily basis which was sold to the Rwandan brewery of BRALIRWA based in Gisenyi town (Tietze, K., Geyh, M., Müller, H., Schröder, L., Stahl, W., & Wehner, H. (1980).  According to the Rwandan ministry of Natural Resources and Rwanda Investment Group websites, the Methane gas in Rwanda is estimated at about 59 billion cubic meters. Out of this 59 billion of this natural gas 29 billion cubic meters are commercially exploitable if it is exploited at a larger scale. The methane gas is one the best gifts that God gave to Africa. It is believed that there are only four lakes in the world that contain dissolved gases in its waters. Those lakes are: Lake Kivu and Lake Nyos, Wum, and Monoun in Cameroon (Giggenbach, W., Sano, Y., & Schmincke, H. 1991, Schmid, M., Halbwachs, M., Wehrli, B., & Wüest, A. (2005). Lake Kivu is unique because it has a capacity of producing Methane gas which is the equivalent of 50 million tonnes of petrol. If it were carefully harnessed carefully, it would provide Rwanda and its neighbors an unlimited energy that would light each and every Rwandan household (Safari, B. (2010). This would serve as an economic engine that the Rwandan government is looking for. Once Methane is commercially exploited from the Lake Kivu Rwanda would be ahead of its neighboring countries in industrial sector, improved household income, agricultural sector, automating industry:

    The Rwandan breweries of BRALIRWA has been benefiting from the use of Methane gas since 1960s. With this opportunity, the factory has managed to control its prices and keeping the quality of its products at affordable cost. Is measures were taken to upscale the exploitation of the Methane gas in Lake Kivu to the level of larger commercial use, Rwandans and its neighboring communities Uganda, DR Congo, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya would benefit from this immense natural resources. Another major factory that would benefit from the use of the Methane gas in Lake Kivu is the Rwanda Cement factory (CIMERWA). As the cement factory undertakes its plans to expand, it will also use 80% of energy for its machinery that will come from peat. It would be effective if the government looked at the ways to harness the Methane gas in Lake Kivu to make cement considering that there is a high demand of cement not only in Rwanda but its neighboring countries. This would save the country billions of money and create more employment opportunities for the youth of Rwanda. We should also not ignore how much wood fuel used every day by both the Tea and Coffee industries to dry their products. If Methane gas were used to in the drying process of both Tea and Coffee in Rwanda would of course save the country billions in Francs that the country spend on reforestation and erosion presentation spend on fighting environmental depletion in Rwanda.
    Community residential improvement the Rwandan natural resources of Methane gas can be used as fuel in form of compressed natural gas (CNG). This would be used for cooking and warming the houses, especially in the areas of Gisenyi, and Ruhengeri where weather becomes very cold during the course of the year. This would save millions of trees cut every day for domestic use in a country threatened by environmental degradation due to population explosion and competition over scarce resources. Once the methane gas is turned into CNG for commercial purpose then Rwanda can target its regional market of East Africa where millions of gallons of natural gas are sold every year to keep our household livable. This would improve not only the Rwandan GDP but also improve Rwandan household income. Considering the fact that scientists have confirmed that the Methane gas in Lake Kivu is in billions of cubic meters, and the country can become like Russia and export its natural resources to countries that experience winter such as Europe, South Africa, and Arab world.
    Rwanda is an agricultural based economic country. This means that farming sustains over 85% of the country’s economy whether it is internal consumption or exportation. These billions of the country’s Methane gas if well managed can bring the country out of poverty forever. It can be used to manufacture animal feeds, which have a hot market in East and Central African region. According to the Nairobi Star newspaper, Kenya imports almost 500,000 metric tons of fertilizer annually, which amounts to tens of billions of the Kenyan Shillings. Through innovative and effective natural resources management in Rwanda, the Kigali government can cash in this huge market and make fertilizer to sell to its regional neighbors, which would be cost effective and turn around the struggling Rwandan economy. Methane gas good use is better than underneath gold. Therefore, Methane gas is the Rwanda’s gold (
    Like its neighbors in East Africa, Rwanda has been struggling with electricity supply issue. Power outage has been synonymous to ELECTROGAZ (a Rwanda Energy Company) in Rwanda. Every week millions of Rwandans count losses due to untimely power outage. Methane gas could a God-sent savior to millions of Rwandans who depend on shaky electricity supply in Rwanda. Rwanda is reasonably small country that enables the government to implement its social and economic policies much easy. This also adds another advantage of distribution energy generated from the Methane gas down to the rural communities to improve their living standard.


With over 10 million population and over 65 billion cubic meters of natural gas of Methane in Lake Kivu, Rwanda stands the greatest opportunity to revamp its economic ambition of establishing a new Hong-Kong of Africa. This ambition can be fulfilled by the idea which started over 50 years ago in 1960s at the Cape Rubona station at the shore of the Lake Kivu. From since then the station has provide constant supply of electricity to the Rwandan largest brewery of BRALIRWA. This supply of power has facilitated both the government and the BLARIRWA to provide cheaper beer to the Rwandan community and the region. It can also provide potential source of electricity to transform Rwandan economy in the near future. This would call for unprecedented measures from both the Kigali government and international community such as the World Bank (WB), African Development Bank (AfDB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) to invest heavily in the project and the community as well that would help in establishing a multipurpose Methane Gas Power Plant in Gisenyi. This project would provide cheap electricity for manufacturing, supply electricity for domestic use to the entire Rwanda and the region, establish a plant that manufactures fertilizer, and also build a plant that will package propane gas for both domestic and industrial use that can also be exported into regional and international markets in East-Central and Southern Africa. To achieve this, Rwandan government and international community have to reformulate its socioeconomic and political policies to ensure both privatization and public sector investment in management of natural resources put community members into perspective of the effective management of the natural resources for sustainable development.

Since 1994, the Kigali government has been putting in place investors friendly policies that allow the public and foreign investors to put their resources in economic projects such as energy sector which has been in the sole management of the government led ELECTROGAZ. With a good and new structure of energy sector and management of the natural resources in Rwanda, coupled with well-thought of social policies would facilitate the effectiveness of managing natural resources in Rwanda and contribute to the holistic socioeconomic growth in Rwanda and the region.

Like in most of African countries, Rwanda needs stronger socioeconomic policies that would encourage the grassroots community members to actively participate in the management of their natural resources so that they see themselves both in the “Input” which is the investment and the “Output” which is the Return On the Investment (ROI) of the project in their own communities. As I continue to emphasize, this encourages local people to find themselves as the owners of the project instead of the “outsiders” of the project. This does not only ensure there is socioeconomic benefits in the community but also sustainability of the project within the community. There have been many long term investments in natural resources in Rwanda. There have been success stories too, especially when it comes to making profits. However, this does not always reflects the happiness of the community in which these projects are established and making profits. To protect the common Rwandan, there is always a need for the government to put in place mechanisms that promote socioeconomic coexistence of both the investors and the community members so that they both enjoy the benefits of the natural resources found within their communities. In the case of the Rwandan Methane Gas in Gisenyi at Cape Rubona off the shore of Lake Kivu, a well-thought of project that includes local communities should be established. In this case the new investment designed to scale up the extraction and commercialization of the Methane Gas in Gisenyi should also benefit local communities and help in uplifting them out of poverty visible in the neighborhood of the Cape Rubona.

To achieve this, would require to put in place sound socioeconomic and natural resources management policies that would create a conducive environment for investment in natural resources. This would involve sound social policies that would encourage community-based participation in natural resources management, political will that would facilitate and coordinate both investors and community member’s needs, strong activism that would play a tripartite role of checking on policy-makers and implementers, which is the government and investors, and encourage community members to participate in management process to  improve the lives of local people and propel economic growth to a new level to ensure project sustainability and increased sense of community ownership.

This would contribute to effective management of the project whereby development is measured with the sustainability of our natural resources. To help readers understand this better, I designed a theoretical Framework for Community-Based management of local natural resources as demonstrated here below. This framework discusses five elements involved in effective management of natural resources globally whether in developing or developed countries. This includes: natural resources to manage, policy-making process to manage the resources, government political will to coordinate the management of our natural resources, investors engaged in making profits from the natural resources, and the members of the community involved in managing the natural resources. These five elements are both interactive and intertwined in nature. In the case of the Methane gas in Gisenyi, Rwanda, the above elements can either make or break local community. When these elements work in harmony for the good of the community, then the community starts seeing the Return On Investment (ROI) in terms of good schools built, improved healthcare system, increased household income, and more jobs are created in the community.


    Natural resources management (Methane Gas in Rwanda): Rwanda is blessed to have various natural resources such as ores like cassiterite (SnO2), niobotantalite (Nb, Ta) 2O5, wolframite (Fe, Mn), WO4, beryl, spodumene, amblygonite, monazite, and gold (Au), and Methane gas in Lake Kivu. All these resources if well exploited and well managed them can boost the nation’s economic development. One of those resources that can turn the countries and regional economy around is the Methane gas. It can be used to generate electricity that can power the whole of East and Central African region over 100 years without alternative energy. According to the Rwandan ministry of natural resources website, Methane gas counts around 65 billion cubic meters.  Methane gas can be used to make chemical fertilizer, which is very important for Rwanda and other countries in the region which survive on agriculture. This would help community farmer’s access fertilizer at lower or subsidized cost. This would increase local agricultural output and improve living conditions of the local people. The Rwandan methane gas found in Lake Kivu can also be extracted and packaged as propane gas to be sold both within Rwanda and neighboring countries such as Kenya which import its supply from as far as Russia. All this would benefit not only the Rwandan community but that from the neighboring countries, especially with the East African Community.
    Government political will: is as important as finding the natural resources. This means that it would be useless or ineffective to seek to involve local community in managing local natural resources if there is no political will from the government. In recent years, there has been political will from Kigali that saw the government involved in community outreach to hold local government leaders accountable to their people. However, for the Methane gas to become beneficial to all Rwandans, more initiatives from the government must be done. One would be putting in place a natural resources policy and management commission which is answerable to the president only. This committee would comprise both experts in natural resources related issues, members of the grassroots community, and investors interested in developing by setting up both medium and large scale methane processing plants to serve domestic, regional, and international markets. If the commission or the committee on methane gas is only answerable to the president, it would eliminate the African cancerous bureaucracy that spend too much resources and time and achieve nothing tangible for the community in the end.  Since the methane gas project at Lake Kivu would be the first and only biggest project that Rwanda has, it would be imperative to allow the committee in charge of implementation and development be answerable to the highest office in the country in order to expect fast and efficient results from the project for the sake of the country’s faster development. This also would demonstrate the government political will I talked about earlier.
    Policy-making process: like in most African countries where priorities in investing in local natural resources is lacking, Rwanda is no exception. However it would be prudent for Rwandan policy-makers to put in place policies that require all investors in natural resources whether local or foreign to use local resources in developing the Methane gas plant in Gisenyi. This would involve getting consultancy from other countries which have succeeded in managing their natural resources effectively such as Botswana, which has become an icon in managing the Botswana raw diamond effectively. Still, this has to do with the government political will in establishing good policies on natural resources management.
    Community involvement: like in many African countries policy-makers, governments, and development partners have always ignored the role played by the local communities in the success of any development project. We have witnessed international communities and our governments coming to invest in our communities but they have never engaged local residents in the development and management of the projects. These mistakes left these development projects vulnerable to the uncertain future when the development partners pulled out because they had not left any trace of their good intentions but their own shadows. One of a good example of projects that did little to educate local communities in the management and development of the project is the former Rwandan Pyrethrum Sector. People were told to cultivate pyrethrum but they never knew what the pyrethrum was used for. When the time came people opted to farm things which were closer to them such as sorghum, maize, potatoes, and wheat despite the government insistence the people defied the government and saw the demise of Rwandan Pyrethrum Sector. To avoid this experience with the new venture into the Methane gas production, it is wise for the government to involve the local communities in Methane gas production and management so that they see themselves as the first beneficiaries of the project. This would also require the stakeholders to be consultative with the communities on what they think are the first priority when it comes to development. It is imperative that the government and investors educate local people on the benefit of exploiting and commercializing the natural gas found in their area and help they understand what the benefits of the community members are. This will ensure the sustainability of the Methane Gas project and contribute to the development of the Rwandan people.
    Investment & investors role: Most investors who heavily invest in Africa’s natural resources such as minerals exploitation, natural gas, power generation, and plantation come from outside of Africa such as Europe, America, and China. Their first interests are not to develop Africans but to get whatever they can as soon as possible and get out with their loot. This has been the case in various African countries such as DR Congo, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire, Sudan, and Somalia. To avoid the repeat of the same experience it is crucial for the Rwandan government to combine both the investors and community members’ interest altogether. In the case of the Methane gas in Gisenyi, we have to remember that 65 billion cubic meters is a huge investment that can turn the fortune of the Rwandan people around within a decade. To remind investors that that the natural resources belong to the people not individuals and are there to make the lives of Rwandan people better is important. This makes investors understand that though they are investing in the region to make fortune, they must respect and invest in the people from that community. This would ensure a good cooperation among all stakeholders such as the government, investors, and the community members, which is vital to the sustainability of the project and Do No Harm development.


A community-based approach to natural resources management is needed not only in Rwanda but all over Africa. God blessed Africans with plenty of natural resources. It is a high time members of community understand how to manage their natural resources by being actively involved in making decisions that influence how their natural resources are exploited and utilized in relation to the local development. Rwanda is also blessed to have over 65 billion cubic meters of the natural gas in Lake Kivu. This Methane gas should be exploited on higher scale so that it contributes to the national development and bring in foreign currency that the country is so much in need. This can be effectively achieved only if the Kigali government put in place natural resources management policies that empower local community to participate in managing their natural resources. This would require more political will to encourage local communities to be involved and ask foreign investors to invest in both local communities and their natural resources to ensure that there is a collaboration among all stakeholders to promote socioeconomic development in Rwanda. Methane gas is a huge investment that can replace the little minerals that the country of Rwanda has and become a major player in manufacturing and selling fertilizer and propane gas in the region and beyond. Community-based management of Rwandan natural gas is crucial to accountability and holistic development approach that most of African countries so need.

Written by  William A.Twayigize


Cet article discutera de gestion communautaire des ressources naturelles au Rwanda en mettant l'accent sur les ressources naturelles, en particulier un 65 milliards de mètres cubes du gaz méthane dans le lac Kivu, qui se trouve entre le Rwanda et orientale de la RD du Congo, au Nord-Ouest du Rwanda. Le document se penchera également sur différents types de minéraux de ressources naturelles, qui sont en exploitation au Rwanda. Ces minéraux est des minerais comme la cassitérite (SnO2), niobotantalite (Nb, Ta) 2O5, wolframite (Fe, Mn), WO4, béryl, spodumène, amblygonite, monazite et or (Au) ( Le document mettra en valeur les ressources naturelles disponibles au Rwanda, mais le gouvernement n'a pas encore exploité leur où ils sont sous-exploités et ne pas apporter beaucoup à l'économie du pays. Nous essayer et faire des recommandations de ce que le pays peut faire pour bénéficier de ces ressources naturelles qui sont sous-exploités afin de bénéficier de leur part.

Un autre produit qui contribue énormément à l'économie du pays est le café. Le café Rwanda contribue beaucoup à l'exportation internationale rwandaise. Cette étude examinera comment la communauté locale, en particulier les femmes rurales ont été impliquées dans la gestion des ressources naturelles au Rwanda depuis l'indépendance. Comme dans d'autres pays, les Rwandais des ressources naturelles comprennent : l'eau et bassins versants, terres, forêts, minéraux et gaz naturel et la faune.

Rwanda est la chance d'avoir un sol volcanique, qui est riche et fertile. Rwanda pousse un des meilleurs cafés montagneux qui est apprécié sur le marché international. Cet article va payer plus d'attention au gaz méthane déposé à l'étage du lac Kivu à Gisenyi. Nous allons regarder comment il a été exploité depuis l'indépendance, dont il bénéficie des rwandais, et combien le gouvernement de Kigali investit dans cette ressources rares pour le promouvoir sur le marché afin de contribuer à l'édification de l'économie rwandaise.

La communication discutera le gaz naturel appelé « Gaz méthane » ou méthane. Il se penchera sur la façon dont la Communauté peut être activement impliquée dans la gestion de gaz méthane au profit accroître la transparence, l'efficacité de la gestion et de promouvoir une croissance économique locale et nationale. Le papier se développera ses discussions afin de démontrer si le gaz méthane rwandais a été pleinement exploité ne bénéficierait pas seulement rwandais, mais aussi l'ensemble de la communauté est-africaine. N'oubliez pas que les pays impliqués dans la communauté est-africaine tels que le Rwanda, Kenya, Ouganda, Tanzanie, Burundi et Soudan Sud toutes les importations de gaz naturel (gaz naturel comprimé) de l'extérieur de l'Afrique. Cela signifie que le Rwanda a un marché facilement disponible dans la région de l'Afrique de l'est. Par conséquent, Rwanda gaz naturel de gaz méthane bénéficierait le marché d'Afrique de l'est si elle était effectivement exploité et géré.

Le document contiendra des recommandations sur comment les ressources naturelles au Rwanda peut être gérés efficacement en faisant participer les membres de la communauté d'où ces ressources sont exploitées afin d'assurer la transparence, la responsabilisation, durabilité et autonomisation économique axée sur la communauté. Cela comprend tous les membres de la Communauté, en se concentrant surtout sur les femmes et les jeunes afin de renforcer l'autonomisation au Rwanda. Il comprendra également un communautaire des ressources naturelles efficace gestion cadre théorique qui illustre l'interaction entre tous les intervenants afin d'améliorer les politiques socioéconomiques du pays qui amélioreraient la façon dont les ressources naturelles sont gérées au Rwanda. Il intégrera le gouvernement, les politiques de gestion des ressources naturelles et les membres de la communauté et démontrer comment les trois institutions peuvent se réunir, de gérer efficacement nos ressources naturelles au profit de tous les Rwandais.

Selon le site Web de l'Université de Princeton, l'économie du Rwanda a été relativement stable dans les années 1960 et 1970. Cependant, cette stabilité ne soit pas attribuée à l'efficacité de la gestion des ressources naturelles, mais des politiques financières prudentes que le gouvernement de la Gregory Kayibanda mettre en place immédiatement après l'indépendance. Après avoir établi des politiques économiques qui a stimulé la croissance économique, gouvernement de la Kayibanda a également obtenu aide internationale par le biais de l'aide étrangère couplé avec les bons termes du commerce. Cela a entraîné une croissance économique soutenue qui a vu le Franc rwandais se renforcer contre le Dollar américain et les autres devises étrangères. Le PIB du pays a été relativement stable et des taux d'inflation a été relativement faible pour rendre chaque produit abordable par les Rwandais ordinaires. Cette croissance économique a été soutenue par le prix mondial du bon café, étant donné que l'économie rwandaise s'appuie fortement sur l'exportation de café. Toutefois, cela n'était pas viable en raison de la fluctuation et forte baisse de prix du café international et croissance économique rwandaise a commencé à être erratique (Van Der Meeren, recat ; Nkurunziza, J. D., & Ngaruko, F. 2002 ; Bien que Rwanda ait diverses ressources naturelles qui n'étaient pas encore exploitées puis, la principale source d'exportation du Rwanda a été le café. Cela le rendait très difficile pour le gouvernement de diversifier ses revenus de la monnaie externe.

Après que le gouvernement Rwanda n'a pas à investir dans la diversification c'est la récolte de ses ressources naturelles, économie rwandaise a commencé à ralentir considérablement. Le taux annuel de croissance d'a grimpé de 6,5 % en 1973 et 1980, la croissance à une moyenne de 2,9 % par an entre 1980 et 1985 et a été encore affaibli en 1986 jusqu'en 1990, en partie à cause de l'idéologie libérale occidentale qui a vigoureusement défendu par la Grande-Bretagne ancien premier ministre Margaret Thatcher pour libéraliser et privatiser les institutions publiques de production (McLeanI. (2001). Au Rwanda, la réforme économique dans l'Ouest a été couplée avec les problèmes politiques auxquels étaient confrontés le gouvernement de Habyarimana. Cette crise économique a atteint un sommet au début des années 1990, non seulement pour le programme économique d'ajustement structurel du FMI effectué au Rwanda, mais aussi l'invasion militaire de l'Ouganda et l'incertitude politique qui caractérise l'ensemble du pays puis. Nombreuses plantations de café ont été désertées par les travailleurs en raison de la guerre et restées sans assistance depuis des années. De nombreux agriculteurs sont devenus des populations déplacées internes (PDI) (Mosley, P., & semaines, J. 1993 ; Fosu, A. K. 1999 ; Chossudovsky, M. 1996 ; Maison à étages, A. 2001 ; Pierre, R. W. (2004). Cela paralysé l'économie du Rwanda plus rapidement puisque le café était les ressources en capital seulement que le Rwanda avait invoqué des années pour ses devises. En outre, le programme économique d'ajustement structurel du FMI n'a pas atteint les résultats escomptés de la relance de la croissance économique au Rwanda. C'est parce qu'il porté sur la mise en œuvre de fortes dévaluations monétaires et la suppression des prix officiels de jeu. Les conséquences sont énormes et catastrophiques sur les salariés et leur pouvoir d'achat des classes moyennes rwandais. Les problèmes économiques des années 1980 et 1990 et pauvre et myope IMF ajustement structurel économique qui n'a pas tenu compte de la diversification dans l'exploitation des ressources naturelles du pays. Cela aurait créé de nouveaux marchés et étendu sur ceux déjà existants pour apporter de nouveaux revenus et soutenir la croissance économique. Cependant, les résultats finaux des mauvaises performances économiques au Rwanda fini poisser des communautés rwandaises contre l'autre comme ils ont blâmé de chaque côté pour être la cause de la pauvreté et la stagnation économique. Les résultats finaux ont été la civile des années 1990 qui a coûté des millions de vies du peuple rwandais (Sachs, J. D., Warner, A., Åslund, A., & Fischer, S., 1995 ; Bloc, S. A. 2002 ; Chossudovsky, M. 2003). Quand le génocide au Rwanda qui s'est passé l'économie rwandaise s'arrêté et encore une fois il a commencé et le PIB réel a enregistré augmentation de 9 % en 1995, la première année d'après-guerre. Il s'agissait d'un signe de la renaissance de l'activité économique au Rwanda, en partie en raison de l'aide économique internationale au nouveau gouvernement formé de l'unité nationale.

Il y a eu beaucoup des activités de développement au Rwanda, en particulier dans l'exploitation des ressources naturelles et de la gestion. Après le génocide, le gouvernement de Kigali, soutenu avec développement partenaires a entrepris divers projets pour diversifier et améliorer l'économie et diminuent son aide étrangère extérieure et sa dépendance à l'agriculture de subsistance, dont plus de 85 % de l'agriculture au Rwanda est fait dans un vieux traditionnelle agricole moyen. Contrairement à nombreux pays africains, la surpopulation du Rwanda demeure sa plus le défi économique et la menace pour la sécurité en raison de la concurrence conflictuelle pour les terres rares et autres ressources naturelles. Rwanda a limité les industries de processus produit sa subsistance. Toutefois, les rwandais a moins des obstacles au commerce dans la région, ce qui serait bonne pour commercialiser ses ressources naturelles déposés sous son sol. Le gouvernement de Kigali a continué à travailler sur la réhabilitation des plantations de thé et de café et d'usines. Il continue également à diversifier ses sources de devises étrangères, bien que les ressources naturelles du Rwanda sont limités avec seulement 5 % de devises étrangères, les revenus ont été produites par l'industrie minière dans une très petite.

Pour plus d'un siècle, Rwanda exporte des minéraux tels que de la cassitérite, Colombo-tantalite et wolframite, qui constituent la base des exportations internationales du Rwanda. Les autres minéraux sont quelque peu or et saphirs. Toutefois, dans sa tentative d'élargir et de diversifier ses revenus économiques, le Rwanda s'est tourné vers son gaz naturel riche, appelé gaz de méthane se retrouve en abondance dans le lac Kivu. Bien que la production de ce gaz naturel a commencé il y a plus de 30 ans, c'était un monopole de la brasserie Rwanda appartenu à une société néerlandaise de brassage, le Groupe Heineken, qui détient plus de 75 % des actions de la grandes. Si ont été évalués, l'exploitation du gaz méthane contribuerait à la disposition des sources de carburant de nombreux rwandais et leurs industries réduire l'épuisement des forêts à la recherche de combustible pour la cuisine et le chauffage de leurs maisons.

Selon Tietze, Al Rwanda a commencé à utiliser de gaz méthane commercialement en 1963. Bien qu'il a commencé comme un projet de recherche basé à la station de Cap Rubona. Plus tard il a commencé à produire environ 8 000 mètres cubes de gaz méthane au quotidien qui a été vendu à la brasserie rwandaise de grandes basé dans la ville de Gisenyi (Tietze, K., Geyh, M., Müller, H., Schröder, L., Stahl, W., & Wehner, H. (1980). Selon le Ministère rwandais des ressources naturelles et de sites Web Rwanda Investment Group, le gaz méthane au Rwanda est estimé à environ 59 milliards de mètres cubes. Hors ce 59 milliards de ce gaz naturel 29 milliards de mètres cubes sont commercialement exploitables si elle est exploitée à plus grande échelle. Le méthane est l'un de meilleurs cadeaux que Dieu a donné à l'Afrique. On croit qu'il n'y a que quatre lacs dans le monde qui contiennent dissous dans ses eaux. Ces lacs sont : lac Kivu et Wum de lac Nyos et Monoun au Cameroun (Giggenbach, w., Sano, Y., & Schmincke, H. 1991, Schmid, M., Halbwachs, M., Wehrli, B., & Wüest, A. (2005). Lac Kivu est unique parce qu'il a une capacité de production de gaz méthane qui est l'équivalent de 50 millions de tonnes de pétrole. S’ils ont été soigneusement exploités, soigneusement, elle fournirait au Rwanda et ses voisins une énergie illimitée qui pourrait allumer chaque ménage Rwanda (Safari, B. (2010). Cela pourrait servir un moteur économique recherché par le gouvernement rwandais. Une fois que le méthane est exploité commercialement depuis le lac Kivu Rwanda serait devant ses pays voisins dans le secteur industriel, revenu du ménage améliorée, secteur agricole, automatisation de l'industrie :

    Les brasseries rwandais de grandes a bénéficié de l'utilisation de gaz méthane, depuis des années 1960. À cette occasion, l'usine a réussi à contrôler ses prix et maintenir la qualité de ses produits à un coût abordable. Est mesures furent prises pour l'exploitation du gaz méthane dans le lac Kivu au niveau de la plus grande utilisation commerciale, rwandais et ses communes voisines, Ouganda, RD Congo, Burundi, Tanzanie, Ouganda et Kenya bénéficieraient de cette immenses ressources naturelles de haut de gamme. Une autre usine majeure qui pourrait bénéficier de l'utilisation du gaz méthane dans le lac Kivu est l'usine de ciment de Rwanda (CIMERWA). Comme l'usine de ciment entreprend ses projets d'expansion, il utilisera également 80 % de l'énergie pour ses machines qui proviendront de la tourbe. Il serait efficace si le gouvernement examinait les moyens d'exploiter le gaz méthane dans le lac Kivu à ciment, considérant qu'il y a une forte demande de ciment non seulement au Rwanda mais ses pays voisins. Cela économiserait le pays des milliards de l'argent et créer plus d'emplois pour les jeunes du Rwanda. Nous ne devrions pas aussi ignorer combien de carburant bois utilisé chaque jour par les industries du thé et du café pour sécher leurs produits. Si le gaz de méthane ont été utilisé à dans le processus de séchage du thé et de café au Rwanda serait bien sûr sauver le pays des milliards en Francs que le pays passent sur la reforestation et présentation de l'érosion passent sur la lutte contre environnement épuisement au Rwanda.
    Amélioration résidentielle communautaire, de que les ressources naturelles rwandais de méthane peut être utilisés comme combustible sous forme comprimé gaz naturel (GNC). Cela servirait pour cuire et réchauffer les maisons, surtout dans les régions de Gisenyi et Ruhengeri, où le temps devient très froid au cours de l'année. Cela permettrait d'économiser des millions d'arbres coupés tous les jours pour un usage domestique, dans un pays menacé par la dégradation de l'environnement due à l'explosion démographique et de la concurrence sur les ressources rares. Une fois que le méthane est transformé en GNC à fins commerciales Rwanda peut cibler son marché régional de l'Afrique de l'est où des millions de gallons de gaz naturel sont vendues chaque année pour garder notre maison habitable. Cela serait améliorer non seulement le PIB rwandais mais également améliorer le revenu des ménages Rwanda. Compte tenu du fait que les scientifiques ont confirmé que le gaz méthane dans le lac Kivu est en milliards de mètres cubes, et le pays peut devenir comme la Russie et ses ressources naturelles à l'exportation vers les pays qui connaissent d'hiver comme le monde arabe, Afrique du Sud et Europe.
    Le Rwanda est un pays son économique est basée sur l’ agricole. Cela signifie que l'agriculture nourrit plus 85 % de l'économie du pays, que ce soit la consommation interne ou à l'exportation. Ces milliards de méthane du pays si bien gérée peuvent apporter le pays sortir de la pauvreté pour toujours. Il peut être utilisé pour la fabrication d'aliments pour animaux, qui ont un marché chaud dans la région de l'est et d'Afrique centrale. Selon le journal Star de Nairobi, Kenya importe presque 500 000 tonnes d'engrais par an, qui s'élève à des dizaines de milliards de la Shillings kényans. Grâce à une gestion innovante et efficace des ressources naturelles au Rwanda, le gouvernement de Kigali peut encaisser dans ce grand marché et faire des engrais de vendre à ses voisins régionaux, qui seraient rentable et tourner autour de l'économie rwandaise qui se débattait. Bon usage de gaz méthane est mieux que sous l'or. Par conséquent, le méthane est or du Rwanda (
    Comme ses voisins en Afrique de l'est, le Rwanda a été aux prises avec le problème d'approvisionnement en électricité. Panne d'électricité a été synonyme d'ELECTROGAZ (une société d'énergie Rwanda) au Rwanda. Chaque semaine des millions de rwandais compter les pertes en raison d'une panne prématurée. Gaz méthane pourrait un sauveur envoyé par Dieu à des millions de rwandais qui dépendent de l'approvisionnement en électricité précaire au Rwanda. Le Rwanda est raisonnablement petit pays qui permet au gouvernement d'appliquer ses politiques sociales et économiques très faciles. Cette méthode ajoute également un autre avantage de l'énergie de distribution générée à partir du gaz de méthane vers le bas pour les communautés rurales à améliorer leur niveau de vie.


Avec une population de plus de 10 millions et plus de 65 milliards de mètres cubes de gaz naturel du méthane dans le lac Kivu, au Rwanda, se trouve la plus grande possibilité de réorganiser son ambition économique d'établir un nouveau Hong Kong de l'Afrique. Cette ambition peut être satisfaite par l'idée qui a commencé il y a des années 60 de plus de 50 ans à la station de Cap Rubona sur la rive du lac Kivu. De depuis la station a fourni un approvisionnement constant de l'électricité à la plus grande brasserie rwandaise de grandes. Cette fourniture d'énergie a facilité le gouvernement et le BLARIRWA pour fournir la bière moins chère à la communauté rwandaise et dans la région. Il peut également fournir une source potentielle de l'électricité pour transformer l'économie rwandaise dans un proche avenir. Cela exigerait des mesures sans précédent du gouvernement de Kigali et la communauté internationale comme la Banque mondiale (BM), Banque africaine de développement (BAfD) et Fonds monétaire International (FMI) à investir massivement dans le projet et la communauté aussi bien qui aiderait à établir une centrale polyvalente du gaz méthane à Gisenyi. Ce projet pourrait fournir de l'électricité bon marché pour la fabrication, l'approvisionnement en électricité à usage domestique pour le Rwanda ensemble et dans la région, implanter une usine qui fabrique des engrais et aussi construire une usine qui regroupera au gaz propane pour usage domestique et industriel qui peut également être exportée dans les marchés régionaux et internationaux dans le centre-est et Afrique australe. Pour y parvenir, le gouvernement rwandais et la communauté internationale ont à reformuler ses politiques socioéconomiques et politiques afin d'assurer un investissement privatisation tant du secteur public dans la gestion des ressources naturelles relativisé membres de la communauté de la gestion efficace des ressources naturelles pour un développement durable.

Depuis 1994, le gouvernement de Kigali a été mise en place des investisseurs amicale des politiques qui permettent à des investisseurs publics et étrangers de mettre leurs ressources dans des projets économiques tels que le secteur de l'énergie qui a été à la seule gestion du gouvernement conduit ELECTROGAZ. Avec une bonne et nouvelle structure du secteur de l'énergie et la gestion des ressources naturelles au Rwanda, couplé avec bien pensée des politiques sociales faciliterait l'efficacité de la gestion des ressources naturelles au Rwanda et contribuer à la croissance socio-économique globale au Rwanda et dans la région.

Comme dans la plupart des pays d'Afrique, Rwanda a besoin des politiques socioéconomiques plus forts encourageant les membres de la communauté locale à participer activement à la gestion de leurs ressources naturelles, afin qu'ils voient eux aussi bien dans le « Input », qui est de l'investissement et la « sortie » qui est le retour sur l'investissement (ROI) du projet dans leurs propres communautés. Comme je continue à mettre l'accent sur, cela encourage les populations locales pour se retrouver en tant que propriétaires du projet au lieu des "outsiders" du projet. Cela ne garantit pas seulement il y a des avantages socio-économiques dans la Communauté mais aussi la viabilité du projet au sein de la communauté. Il y a eu beaucoup d'investissements à long terme en ressources naturelles au Rwanda. Il y a eu réussites trop, surtout quand il s'agit de faire des bénéfices. Toutefois, cela ne pas toujours reflète le bonheur de la communauté où ces projets sont établis et de faire des bénéfices. Pour protéger les Rwandais ordinaires, il y a toujours un besoin pour le gouvernement à mettre en place des mécanismes qui favorisent la coexistence socio-économique des fois les investisseurs et les membres de la communauté afin qu'ils adorent les avantages des ressources naturelles au sein de leurs communautés. Dans le cas du gaz de méthane rwandais à Gisenyi à Rubona Cap au large de la rive du lac Kivu, un bien pensé du projet qui inclut les communautés locales devraient être mis en place. Dans ce cas, le nouvel investissement conçu pour intensifier l'extraction et la commercialisation du gaz méthane à Gisenyi devrait également bénéficier aux communautés locales et aider dans leur élévation hors de la pauvreté visible dans le quartier de la Cape de Rubona.

Pour y parvenir, nécessiterait de mettre en place son socio-économiques et des ressources naturelles gestion politiques qui créeraient un climat propice aux investissements dans les ressources naturelles. Cela impliquerait son des politiques sociales qui encourageraient la participation communautaire à la gestion des ressources naturelles, politique seront qui serait de faciliter et de coordonner les deux investisseurs et membre de la Communauté doit, fort activisme qui jouent un rôle tripartite de vérification sur les décideurs et les exécutants, qui est le gouvernement et les investisseurs, et encourager les membres de la communauté à participer au processus de gestion pour améliorer la vie des populations locales et de propulser la croissance économique à un niveau supérieur afin d'assurer la viabilité des projets et un sentiment accru de propriété communautaire.

Cette mesure contribue à une gestion efficace du projet selon lequel le développement est mesuré avec la durabilité de nos ressources naturelles. Pour aider les lecteurs à comprendre mieux, j'ai conçu un cadre théorique pour la gestion communautaire des ressources naturelles locales, tel que démontré ici dessous. Ce cadre aborde cinq éléments impliqués dans la gestion efficace des ressources naturelles dans le monde que ce soit en développement ou les pays développés. Cela comprend : les ressources naturelles à gérer, le processus d'élaboration des politiques pour gérer les ressources, la volonté politique de gouvernement pour coordonner la gestion de nos ressources naturelles, investisseurs engagés dans la fabrication des bénéfices provenant des ressources naturelles et les membres de la communauté impliquée dans la gestion des ressources naturelles. Ces cinq éléments sont interactifs et entrelacés dans la nature. Dans le cas du gaz de méthane à Gisenyi (Rwanda), les éléments ci-dessus peuvent faire ou casser la communauté locale. Lorsque ces éléments fonctionnent en harmonie pour le bien de la Communauté, la communauté commence alors de voir le retour sur investissement (ROI) en termes de bonnes écoles construites, système de soins de santé amélioré, a augmenté le revenu des ménages, et plus d'emplois sont créés dans la communauté.

Description :

    Gestion des ressources naturelles (gaz méthane au Rwanda): Rwanda est béni d'avoir diverses ressources naturelles tels que les minerais comme la cassitérite (SnO2), niobotantalite (Nb, Ta) 2O5, wolframite (Fe, Mn), WO4, béryl, spodumène, amblygonite, monazite et or (Au) et de gaz méthane dans le lac Kivu. Toutes ces ressources si bien exploité et bien géré leur peuvent stimuler le développement économique de la nation. Une de ces ressources qui peuvent transformer le pays et l'économie régionale autour est le méthane. Il peut être utilisé pour produire de l'électricité qui peut alimenter l'ensemble de la région d'Orient et d'Afrique centrale, plus de 100 ans sans énergie alternative. Selon la website du ministère Rwandais des ressources naturelles, le gaz méthane compte environ 65 milliards de mètres cubes. Gaz méthane peut être utilisé pour faire des engrais chimiques, ce qui est très important pour le Rwanda et d'autres pays de la région qui dépendent de l'agriculture. Cela aiderait les engrais accès communautaire fermier à coût plus faible ou subventionné. Cela augmenterait la production agricole locale et améliorer les conditions de vie des populations locales. Le gaz méthane rwandais trouvé dans le lac Kivu peut également être extraite et emballé sous forme de gaz propane à vendre au Rwanda et des pays voisins comme le Kenya qui importent son approvisionnement d'autant que la Russie. Tout cela profiterait non seulement la communauté rwandaise, mais celle des pays voisins, en particulier avec l'East African Community.
    Gouvernement volonté politique : est aussi important que de trouver les ressources naturelles. Cela signifie qu'il serait inutile ou inefficace de chercher à faire participer la communauté locale dans la gestion des ressources naturelles locales s'il n'y a pas de politique sera du gouvernement. Ces dernières années, il y a eu une volonté politique de Kigali qui a vu le gouvernement impliqué dans les activités de rayonnement communautaire à responsabiliser les dirigeants du gouvernement local à leur peuple. Toutefois, pour le gaz de méthane devenir bénéfique à tous les rwandais, plusieurs initiatives du gouvernement doivent être faits. Un pourrait être mise en place d'une commission politique et la gestion des ressources naturelles qui est responsable devant le Président seulement. Ce Comité se composerait de deux experts en ressources naturelles des questions connexes, membres de la communauté de base et les investisseurs intéressés à développer en mettant en place les deux usines de transformation de méthane de moyenne et grande échelle pour desservir les marchés nationaux, régionaux et internationaux. Si la commission ou le Comité sur le gaz de méthane est seulement responsable devant le Président, il permettrait d'éliminer la bureaucratie cancéreuse africaine qui passe trop de ressources et temps et parvenir à rien de tangible pour la collectivité en fin de compte. Étant donné que le projet de gaz méthane au lac Kivu serait le premier et le seul projet plus grand que le Rwanda a, il serait impératif de permettre au Comité en charge de la mise en œuvre et développement responsable devant les plus hautes fonctions dans le pays afin d'espérer des résultats rapides et efficaces du projet dans un souci d'accélérer le développement du pays. Cela démontrerait également le gouvernement politique sera j'ai parlé plus tôt.
    Processus d'élaboration des politiques : comme dans la plupart des pays africains où les priorités en investissant dans les ressources naturelles locales est absente, le Rwanda ne fait pas exception. Toutefois, il serait prudent pour les Rwandais aux décideurs de mettre en place des politiques qui exigent tous les investisseurs en ressources naturelles, locaux ou étrangers d'utiliser les ressources locales dans le développement de l'usine de gaz méthane à Gisenyi. Il faudrait obtenir des consultants d'autres pays qui ont réussi dans la gestion de leurs ressources naturelles efficacement comme le Botswana, qui est devenu une icône dans la gestion efficace du diamant brut du Botswana. Pourtant, cela a à voir avec la volonté politique du gouvernement en établissant de bonnes politiques sur la gestion des ressources naturelles.
    Engagement communautaire : comme dans nombreux pays africains décideurs, gouvernements et développement partenaires ont toujours ignoré le rôle joué par les communautés locales dans la réussite de tout projet de développement. Nous avons assisté à des communautés internationales et nos gouvernements à investir dans nos communautés, mais ils n'ont jamais engagé résidents locaux dans le développement et la gestion des projets. Ces erreurs laissé ces projets de développement vulnérables à l'avenir incertain, lorsque les partenaires de développement tiré parce qu'ils n'avaient pas quitté de toute trace de leurs bonnes intentions mais leur propre ombre. L'un d'un bon exemple de projets qui a peu fait pour éduquer les communautés locales dans la gestion et le développement du projet est l'ancien secteur de pyrèthre rwandais. Gens apprirent à cultiver de pyrèthre mais ils ne savaient jamais qu'utilise le pyrèthre. Le moment venu personnes ont opté pour des choses de ferme qui étaient proches d'eux, telles que le sorgho, maïs, pommes de terre, et blé malgré l'insistance du gouvernement les personnes ont défié le gouvernement et a vu l'effondrement du secteur de pyrèthre rwandais. Pour éviter cette expérience avec la nouvelle entreprise dans la production de gaz méthane, il est sage pour le gouvernement d'impliquer les communautés locales dans la gestion et la production de gaz méthane, afin qu'ils se considèrent comme les premiers bénéficiaires du projet. Cela exigerait aussi les intervenants d'être en consultation avec les communautés sur ce qu'ils pensent sont la première priorité en matière de développement. Il est impératif que le gouvernement et les investisseurs éduquer les populations locales sur le bénéfice d'exploitation et de commercialisation du gaz naturel trouvé dans leur région et l'aide qu'ils comprennent quels sont les avantages des membres de la communauté. Cela assurera la viabilité du projet gaz méthane et contribuer au développement du peuple rwandais.
    Rôle de l'investissement et les investisseurs : la plupart des investisseurs qui investissent lourdement dans les ressources naturelles de l'Afrique tels que l'exploitation de minéraux, gaz naturel, électricité et plantation proviennent hors d'Afrique tels que l'Europe, l'Amérique et la Chine. Leur première s'intéresse ne pas à développer des Africains mais pour obtenir ce qu'ils peuvent, dès que possible et sortir avec leur butin. Cela a été le cas dans divers pays africains tels que la RD Congo, Libéria, Sierra Leone, Guinée, Côte d'Ivoire, Soudan et Somalie. Pour éviter la répétition de la même expérience, il est crucial pour le gouvernement rwandais à combiner les investisseurs et les intérêts des membres de la Communauté au total. Dans le cas du gaz de méthane à Gisenyi, il faut se rappeler que 65 milliards de mètres cubes est un investissement énorme qui peut transformer la fortune du peuple rwandais autour dans une dizaine d'années. Pour rappeler aux investisseurs que les ressources naturelles appartiennent au peuple, pas les individus et sont là pour rendre la vie du peuple rwandais mieux est important. Cela rend les investisseurs comprennent que s'ils investissent dans la région de faire fortune, ils doivent respecter et investir dans les gens de cette communauté. Cela permettrait d'assurer une bonne coopération entre tous les intervenants, comme le gouvernement, les investisseurs et les membres de la Communauté, qui est vitale pour la viabilité du projet et développement Do No Harm.


Une approche axée sur la communauté à la gestion des ressources naturelles est nécessaire non seulement au Rwanda, mais aussi dans toute l'Afrique. Dieu béni africains avec l'abondance des ressources naturelles. C'est qu'un grand temps membres de la communauté comprennent comment gérer leurs ressources naturelles en étant activement impliqués dans la prise de décisions qui influencent comment leurs ressources naturelles sont exploitées et utilisées en relation avec le développement local. Rwanda est également béni pour avoir plus de 65 milliards de mètres cubes de gaz naturel dans le lac Kivu. Ce gaz méthane devrait être exploité à l'échelle supérieure afin qu'elle contribue au développement national et mettre en monnaie étrangère que le pays est tellement dans le besoin. Ceci peut être réalisé efficacement que si le gouvernement de Kigali a mis en place des ressources naturelles des politiques de gestion qui permettent aux communautés locales pour participer dans la gestion de leurs ressources naturelles. Cela nécessiterait plus de volonté politique pour encourager les communautés locales à participer et demander des investisseurs étrangers à investir dans les collectivités locales et leurs ressources naturelles pour s'assurer qu'il existe une collaboration entre toutes les parties prenantes pour promouvoir le développement socio-économique au Rwanda. Gaz méthane est un investissement énorme qui peut remplacer les minéraux peu que le pays du Rwanda et de devenir un acteur majeur dans la fabrication et la vente d'engrais et propane gaz dans la région et au-delà. Gestion communautaire des rwandais de gaz naturel est cruciale pour la responsabilité et l'approche de développement holistique que la plupart des pays africains si besoin.


Adapted from AFRICA REVIEW

It was last year when Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki interrupted his own speech to make a major announcement.

After years of explorations, the East African country had finally struck oil around Lake Turkana, revealed the obviously excited president.

In the following months, more announcements were made, buoying the country’s spirits. And the rest of Eastern Africa is equally optimistic about recent oil and gas discoveries, posing new opportunities and challenges. These have also attracted external players to the region.

It is known that the region is full of strategic minerals that include gemstones, gold, iron, coal, diamond, tin, tantalum, titanium, and rare earth deposits. Most important, hydrocarbon resources of oil, coal, and natural gas in large quantities seem to dot every country. Subsequently, there are at least 18 extra-continental companies exploring off-shore oil and gas along Kenya, Tanzania, and Mozambique.

Extra-continental powers, monitoring developments in Eastern Africa that can affect immediate and long term interests, have increased geopolitical competition for supremacy in the region. The Euro-powers used to have a monopoly of the knowledge of, and access to, natural resources in Eastern Africa and did little to develop them but this monopoly appears to have been shattered. Besides, the continued volatility of the traditional oil producing areas in the Middle East necessitates search for other sources of energy.

Eastern Africa is a growing alternative, aided by improved technology that has made it possible for many prospectors to detect and extract large deposits with relative ease. The increase in the number of players has intensified competition which leads to friction in the region.

Brighter future

China and India are among the external competitors that are interested in influencing the region and have had different effects. They are innovative in catering for their rapidly expanding economies whose appetite for oil and natural gas has fuelled demand for hydrocarbon resources. They represent growing Asian interest in the East African oil and natural gas because Eastern Africa is comparatively safer than the Middle East and cheaper than what Australia offers. This is a source of concern for Australia which sees East Africa as a threat to its natural gas market.

The Asian markets are not worried. China seems eager to destroy the myth of unprofitability by investing heavily in the region. In its effort to make Zambia a showcase of the Beijing consensus, it rehabilitated Zambian mines that the Euro-powers had closed supposedly because of their unprofitability, and still made profit. The attractive Chinese message in the region is that it can be done and this has, and will continue to have, a transformative effect on other extra-continental players.

China will continue to be a player where oil and natural gas are in plenty and where big companies are flocking to stake claims. Its CNOOC is among those showing interest along with Total, Heritage and Gas that was founded by British mercenary Tony Buckingham, Tullow Oil, Exxon Mobil, Shell, Canada’s Africa Oil Cooperation, ENI, Petrobras, and Anadarko.

The peoples of the region are excited and generally hope that the “discoveries” will mean a bright economic future. They, however, wonder whether they will be visited by the curse of oil that is evident in some areas. Among the positives associated with the discoveries of oil and natural gas is the “hope” that inspires dreams of a prosperous region.

There is oil in South Sudan, the subject of continuing dispute with the Republic of Sudan, which forces Juba to look for alternative outlets. Like Ethiopia, it has problems in accessing the sea which has led to close collaboration with Kenya to open up the “second corridor” that starts in Lamu on the Kenyan coast. This is both an economic and security lifeline that will lead to exploitation of more resources in the region. The prospects for the “corridor” stimulating the region economically are high.

Bigger forces

Uganda also discovered commercial quantity oil in the Lake Albert area, bordering Eastern Congo, in 2006, but it has had problems producing oil. Uganda’s oil calculations have floundered and the prospects are not good given that its initial hope of becoming the regional supplier of oil is unlikely to materialise. Instead, the Lake Albert oil zone has become heavily militarised with President Yoweri Museveni’s son as the area commander. And among the operators is Heritage Oil and Gas Company which in 2007 triggered a border skirmish between Uganda and Congo, showing how sensitive the area is. In addition, Uganda has no technical and financial resources and its intended large market in Kenya has disappeared.

Prospects are better in Kenya which, strategically located to be the processor and marketer of the region, hopes to maintain position as the geopolitical hub of Eastern Africa. With its own discovery of commercial quantity oil in Turkana, natural gas along the Coast, and coal in Ukambani, Kenya is reluctant to be another country’s market. In this context, it seemingly is going out of its way to build the appropriate infrastructure in anticipation of the benefits to come. The joint effort with South Sudan and Ethiopia on the “second corridor” is the most visible.

Still, there are serious, mostly political and security related concerns about the possible impact of the resources and whether Kenya is adequately prepared. Since the attacks in Baragoi and Tana Delta do not fit the ordinary cattle rustling scenario and the assertions of separatism by the Mombasa Republican Council make little sense, questions arise as to whether there could be bigger forces in operation. Are these activities part of external efforts to create political uncertainty, weaken the Kenyan state, and ensure external control of hydrocarbon resources?

Like Kenya, Tanzania has secessionist challenges in Zanzibar, in the name of UAMSHO, with the potential availability of offshore natural gas as the catalyst. The amount of natural gas in Tanzania and neighbouring Mozambique is estimated to be about of 100 trillion cubic feet, and this has attracted many global players because it appears to be inexhaustible, especially as more is likely to be discovered. The companies and their staff, however, appear to live in a world that is different from that of Tanzanians and seem to enjoy extra-territoriality. This creates resentment and although Tanzania receives annual registration fees from every company supposedly to serve the people, the benefits do not appear to trickle down enough. While this is partly blamed on corruption, it is more a consequence of Tanzanians lacking capacity and not being prepared to tackle the rapidly expanding hydrocarbon industry. Such incapacity makes Tanzania vulnerable to external manipulation.

Intricacies of oil

The growing discoveries of oil and natural gas in different parts of Eastern Africa portends well for the region if the matter is well handled politically. This political handling is first within the region to reduce suspicion and enhance collaboration. The countries currently compete for dominance and therefore open themselves to external manipulation with one country pitted against the other. Given that the region is small as a market of what it produces, the chances are that they will compete to export which will give advantage to the external importers.

Second, it is also a matter of building capacity, which takes time. The actual production of oil or natural gas is years away and the countries will continue to rely on the goodwill of oil companies. The countries are actually in a situation similar to oil producing countries in the 1950s before they created OPEC. Even then, OPEC took almost a decade to learn the oil business before it could have an impact on determining oil production and marketing. Peoples in Eastern Africa know virtually nothing about oil and gas and will take time before they can master the political and technical intricacies of oil and natural gas control. But it can be done.

The discoveries of hydrocarbons in the region in large quantities will have positive effects. While acknowledging internal and external obstacles to be overcome, the prospects for prosperity are high and with the right capacity, the future is bright. The discoveries are instilling “hope” that a better economic future is possible. It is largely this hope that is stimulating infrastructural developments.
-ProfMunene is a Professor of History and International Relations, United States International University, Nairobi

Taken from the Daily Nation Kenya

Written by  William A.Twayigize

By Edwin Cheserek

From STANDARD Digital

Oil prospect in Marakwet West District has sparked off controversy over land ownership among residents.

The community living on the land has turned down a request by British oil exploration Company Tullow to begin work.

Last year Tullow carried out an aerial survey and discovered there were prospects of oil deposits in Chesuman and Arror locations and requested to be allowed to access the area and prospect.

A section of residents and leaders want Tullow barred from accessing the area until a legal agreement over the land is signed while others who stake claim on the land want the firm to be allowed to carry out exploration of the oil to determine its commercial status.

Mr Juma Cherop, a resident, said though the residents are bound to benefit from the oil in future, community interest should be taken into consideration.

"The investor and leaders should first come up with solutions on the stalemate over issues such as land disputes before the investor is allowed to embark on the project,"he argued.

Arror county representative Christopher Kibor wants the community to be involved at all stages before the firm is allowed to start its operations to avert future controversies.

“The community is the stakeholder and it should be involved in the decision making because ignoring them will attract protests from the residents," he said.

He claimed that some individuals with vested interests had colluded with brokers to dispose the community land to the international oil firm without the consent of the people.

Mr Kibor however said the community was not opposed to the project but want issues like occupational hazards and employment opportunities to be discussed.

“We want an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) to be initiated so that emergency responses are put in place to mitigate disasters that may occur in the process of exploration, “he advised.

Marakwet MP William Kisang confirmed that there was stalemate between the community and the Tullow over the discovery of the oil but said the issues raised would soon be resolved.

“The company wanted the elders to append their signatures giving them temporary access to the area but they were denied until proper consultations were carried out between the parties involved,“ he disclosed.

The disputes in Marakwet have erupted months after similar controversies emerged in Kerio Valley.

Lack of title deeds for the land in Kerio Valley has complicated plans to prospect the oil with locals claiming stake to the communal land causing clan feuds.

Last week, leaders from the area convened a meeting with Tullow officials at Iten town where they discussed issues of compensation and other binding agreements.

They want the company to roll out among others corporate social responsibility like they have started doing in Turkana County where the company discovered oil.

Tullow, which is currently exploring oil in Ngamia area of Turkana County, is giving out scholarships through the provincial administration to students from poor families in areas where oil has been discovered.

Written by  JOHN NJAGI This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Thirty one licences issued by the Mining Ministry have been revoked after Cabinet secretary Najib Balala said they were issued in unclear circumstances.

Mr Balala also suspended the Commissioner of Mines, Mr Moses Masibo.

He also named a taskforce to investigate over 500 licences given to mining companies since 2003 amid reports that some of the firms were dubious entities engaging in speculation and had no capacity to conduct commercial exploitation.

The taskforce chaired by Mr Mohammed Nyaoga will investigate the circumstances under which the licences were issued and the status of the companies which benefited.

Mr Balala told a press conference in his office that preliminary investigations indicated that only 20 out of the 500 companies were credible. All the others out to make super profits through speculation and hoarding of mineral resources while also benefiting from preferential treatment.

Among the companies likely to come into focus as the governments takes steps to streamline the mining sector, is Cortec which recently announced that there were deposits of niobium, a rare earth mineral worth over $100 billion in Kwale County.


Mr Balala said the announcement took the government by surprise as it did not have details of the find, and could, therefore, not vouch for the accuracy of the information.

He said a proposed Mining Bill, which has been forwarded to the Cabinet for approval, would require companies to first disclose such information to the government.

“Under the new law, we will require mining companies to notify the government within 21 days so that the government can verify the information to avoid companies engaging in speculation to make profits,” he said.

On Monday, the government admitted it was not aware of the activities of Cortec and the alleged mineral find in Kwale.

Mr Nyaoga’s taskforce was given 60 days to hand in its report, after which the government will decide which licences would be revoked and which would remain.

The focus will be on licences awarded between January and May, just after Parliament was dissolved.

Mr Balala wondered how the 31 licenses were issued yet the country was in transition.

“We have some that were issued even on Election Day and others on the day that I was sworn in,” he said.

He also announced that he would gazette new royalties and drilling charges under which mining companies will be required to pay a minimum of 10 per cent of their proceeds to the government as opposed to as low as 0.01 percent that some companies were currently paying.

“Last year, Magadi Soda Company for instance exported salt worth Sh16 billion and the government got only Sh 16 million in taxes,” he said.

Mr Balala also revoked the Export Processing Zone status of a company dealing in flouspar to stop the government from losing millions in royalties. EPZ companies are exempted from paying taxes for 10 years.

Written by  IRIN/UNEP

Kibera Slum in Nairobi Kibera Slum in Nairobi unep

Adapted from IRIN/UNEP

NAIROBI, 11 July 2008 (IRIN) - Quality healthcare is a luxury often beyond the reach of those who live in Nairobi’s slums, such as mother-of-seven Grace Awour Opondo. "When you are sick you buy medicine from the local shops," Opondo told IRIN. "If you are lucky you recover because the medicine is not usually the right one."Sometimes there is no medicine even in the hospitals, so they send you out with a prescription," she said. "Then the chemists are expensive so often one has to make do without the medicine." According to Sakwa Mwangala, a programme manager with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), the fact that people are squatting on government land often prevents them from accessing essential services. Slums are regarded as informal illegal settlements, which means they are underserved in terms of infrastructure development and access to basic amenities. "Government health facilities are also not easily accessible for most slum residents," said Mwangala, who heads AMREF's Kibera integrated healthcare programme. Kibera, on the southwestern edge of central Nairobi, is one of the largest and most densely populated slums in sub-Saharan Africa.

Most people operating health “facilities” in the slums are quacks, he said. “There is a lack of quality control, with the people in most of these clinics lacking skills." The urban poor fare worse than their rural counterparts on most health indicators, according to a report, Profiling the burden of disease on the residents of Nairobi slums prepared by the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). Pneumonia, diarrhoeal diseases and stillbirths account for more than half the deaths of children under-five, while HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, interpersonal violence injuries and road traffic accidents account for more than two-thirds of deaths among people aged five years and older, stated the report.
The poor health status of slum children is in part due to continuous exposure to environmental hazards coupled with a lack of basic amenities. "The chances of one becoming sick are high because of the poor sanitation; most of the houses are also poorly ventilated," according to Leonard Wawire, a teacher in the Mathare slum. "Here, there are no trees to clean the air; any plant growing is usually growing out of waste," Wawire said.

Eliya Zulu, APHRC’s director of research, told IRIN it was important to adopt a holistic approach to healthcare for the urban poor, one that focused as much on prevention – through improved nutrition and immunisation against major childhood diseases – as on treatment.

Grace Opondo, a resident of Mathare slums said that “Increasingly, most people in the urban areas are living in deplorable conditions yet it is generally assumed that the better hospitals and schools are in the urban areas,” Zulu said. When conducting general health surveys, urban areas tend to rank better than rural areas in terms of the health indicators. This, however, failed to bring into focus the health situation of the urban poor, he said. The problems of the urban poor have often been overlooked while rural areas are seen as more vulnerable to shocks. "In the rural set-up there is a sense of normalcy; you can have your toilet, the community also has a stream from which they draw their water - this is not the case in the slums," Mwangala of AMREF said.
Many deaths in the slums are caused by preventable and treatable conditions, according to the APHRC report; inadequate sanitation encourages the spread of skin and waterborne diseases.

In a bid to improve sanitation in Kibera, a Kenyan NGO, the Umande Trust, is running a project that not only provides quality toilets for residents but also transforms human waste into biogas and liquid fertiliser. Residents in areas such as Katwekera and Laini Saba in Kibera, pay two shillings (three US cents) to use the toilets and showers, according to Josiah Omotto of the Trust. For a subscription of 80 shillings ($1.19) a month, households get unlimited access to the facility. The buildings’ basements house bio-digester domes, which turn human waste into methane and liquid fertiliser. ''When you are sick you buy medicine from the local shops; if you are lucky you recover because the medicine is not usually the right one'' According to Omotto, these help reduce the local use of firewood. Already, he said, the methane from the facility in Laini Saba was being used for fuel by a local nursery school. There are plans to construct similar facilities in other slums to supply the gas to residents living near the facilities.

The division of environmental health in Kenya's Ministry of Health is finalizing policy documents aimed at ensuring that 90 percent of households have access to, and make use of, hygienic, affordable, functional and sustainable toilet and hand-washing facilities. The policies also aim at reducing the national rate of preventable sanitation-related diseases by half.
(This article does not necessarily reflects the views of ANREMI in any way)


A huge underground freshwater source has been discovered in Turkana.

Researchers say the acquifer, covering a surface area of 4,164 square kilometres at Lokipiti, holds about 200 billion cubic meters of fresh water and can serve Kenya for 70 years. In a post on ITV news website, French scientist Alain Gachet, who was involved in the research, said the reservoir could help reduce northern Kenya’s perennial water problems remarkably.

“If the Kenyan government can embrace this system, fund the drilling and maintain the infrastructure there’s no reason this will not change millions of lives for the better,” he said. Environment minister Judi Wakhungu called for the conservation of the water resource.

“This newly found wealth of water opens a door to a more prosperous future for the people of Turkana and the nation as a whole. We must now work to further explore these resources responsibly and safeguard them for future generations,” she said at a Unesco meeting.



This is the second major natural resource discovery in Turkana after oil which was announced in March 2012. Results of a groundwater study show that Northern-Central Turkana is home to a reserve of 250 billion cubic metres of water.

The water is naturally refilled at the rate of about 3.4 billion cubic metres per year. This finding, according to the government study, can heighten the country’s share of accessible water by 8.5 per cent.


It is also likely to double the amount of water that is available for consumption today – ultimately improving the lives of Kenyans living in water scarce areas.

According to Director of Water Resources in the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources John Nyaoro, Turkana residents will enjoy the newly discovered resource in the next two months.

The study was undertaken by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation and conducted by Radar Technologies International and the Ministry of Environment, Water and Natural Resources and other agencies.

It found two major aquifers – bodies of permeable rock through which water can readily move – which were not previously exploited.

“We have drilled the aquifers, done test pumping and also found that the quality of water is fit for human use. These boreholes will be equipped as soon as possible and the people will also be able to use the water for domestic irrigation,” Mr Nyaoro said.


Cabinet Secretary for the Ministry Judy Wakhungu announced the results of the study while officiating at the Unesco Strategic and High Level Meeting on Water Security and Cooperation at the Kenya School of Monetary Studies, Nairobi on Wednesday.

“The significance of this is the potential to enhance groundwater development in Turkana and therefore positioning the government to better respond to the needs of the people, not only in Turkana and other Arid and Semi-Arid Lands areas, but the entire nation,” she said.

The Lotikipi Basin Aquifer System, one of the two reservoirs, is located between Lokichogio and Lokitaung. The sedimentary aquifer has an estimated 207 billion cubic metres of water of freshwater reserves.

“The potential volume of water is comparable to the volume of water in the nearby Lake Turkana,” Prof Wakhungu explained.

Mr Nyaoro said the ministry plans to dig several boreholes on the aquifer and even explore the possibility of creating a man-made river on it.

The other, Lodwar Basin Aquifer, is situated 16 kilometres from Lodwar town and can supply the town and is fed in part by the Turkwel River.

Later, Mr Nyaoro said, the sites will be handed over to the Rift Valley Water Services Board to manage.

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