Deforestation is the major cause of environmental degradation that can result in a huge drought if not stopped.
The theft of trees has been identified to be among the threats that ravage the forests in Kayenzi sector, but collective measures are taken according to the citizens and leaders.
Kayenzi sector gathers about 500 hectares of forests concentrating in Nyamirama, Cubi and Kirwa cells.
Speaking to the media, Wilson Serge Cyurishya, a citizen in Kayenzi sector said that they try to renew forests by planting young trees in line of preserving environment.
He said that they partner with local government leadership to control people who damage trees.
“Some people still damage forests but as citizens, we work with local government just to communicate cases so that all together we preserve the environment,” Cyurishya noted.
“We live nearby the government’s forests and we cannot keep quiet when we find people ravaging them. We can inform leaders to take proper punishments for them,” added Cyurishya.
According to David Mfitumukiza, Kayenzi sector’s acting Executive Secretary, most of the forests are away from the center and the sector’s offices but they keep on interacting with citizens, police and security entities to know if someone is illegally burning charcoals, he said.
He says that the sector is not supporting whoever burns charcoal without the official documents allowing him to do that.
“We have strategies to explain to the citizens about the official documents allowing them to burn charcoals. We cannot prevent someone to burn his forest if it is his only way to survive, what we recommend you is to seek for authorization from the village level up to the sector,” says Mfitumukiza.
He noted that under one hectare forest’s owner can get the document from the sector whereas the owner of above one hectare gets it from the district.
Mfitumukiza affirms that they make sure they replace deforested trees with new ones.
“We work in collaboration with police and security entities to preserve the forest and punish whoever damaging trees,” Mfitumukiza said.
Five people were so far on Tuesday night caught in crime of ravaging the forest by the sector’s security entities and were put in sector’s jail.
Rwanda has committed to restore two million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2020.
By Elias Hakizimana