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Green Gicumbi: Threesome benefit in radical terraces

Wheat firms in the terraces of Mukarange sector, Gicumbi District (Photo / Rene Anthere)

Radical terraces have been a key factor in the improvement of the livelihood of the residents of Gicumbi District highlands. The threesome benefit of these radical terraces is not subject to velocity of water moving across the soil surface, increase more intensive cropping productivity, plant grass for livestock and wellbeing.

It is a short drive from Gicumbi town, as it is at least 10 kilometers away, a 30-minute drive by car due to the landscape. Arriving in Mukarange sector, one of the nine sectors run by the Green Gicumbi Project, a project aimed at keeping Gicumbi clean, environmental protection and tackling climate change; meet with the community to showcase their achievements as a result of land consolidation using radical terraces.

Farmers in Mukarange sector are happy that their production has increased due to radical terraces (Photo / Rene Anthere)

Green Gicumbi has changed their lives

Karugahe Athanase is a resident of Rugarama village, Rugerero Cell. The 67-years-old man said that whenever it rained, the fields could be covered with eroded soils and it would be difficult for them to get do farm work. He and his neighbors appreciate the role of terraces in soil conservation and well-being.

“It simply came to our notice then. We used to cultivate the land and it was terraces that took it and it didn’t work. Our remaining production has tripled.”

He said that in the two and a half hectares he used to clean not only 600 kilograms of beans but now it has tripled. He weighed 600 kilograms but now weighs 800 kilograms on 40 acres; white potatoes between three and four tons he had never achieved before.

Mukandengeye Rozata is a 49-year-old mother living in Rugarama village, Rugerero Cell. “Awesome! Radical terraces have benefited us so much! I used to have about 50 kilograms of beans but now I have three sacks. I used to grow 40 kilograms and now I will grow 100.”

The mother says they used to use wheat to cheat but now they have built a collection house and allowed them to find an investor and they will sell it once. He believes it will bring more benefits than sowing seeds.

Uwihoza Annet is 26 years old. “Before we didn’t open markets because the erosion was taking it away,” he says. Even at home it was not. Terraces have increased productivity because the soil is no longer moving. We also received money because they hired us to build terraces.”

Radical terraces provide employment to communities and contribute to erosion control (Photo / Rene Anthere)

In addition to the fact that the land is no longer productive, the people say that they have found work in the construction of terraces, and the money for it. They all say, “You know how to prepare your land, give you a job, and pay for it, and keep your land!”

“I bought mine and now my house is in good condition. These animals are fed on grass that grows on the terraces,” she said.

Mukandengeye Rozata said, “They hired us to make money, and we kept the land. The terraces have benefited us, the soil has stopped, the organic is no longer running. We cultivate and praise! I have pigs but I sell grass to those who have cows and they give me money.”

Much has been done to change the people’ lives

The Green Gicumbi project operates in nine sectors in Gicumbi district namely Bwisige, Byumba, Cyumba, Kaniga, Manyagiro, Mukarange, Rubaya, Rushaki, and Shangasha. The main activities of the project include terraces and forests, reforestation, conservation of floodwaters in the Hurricane River, calming the villagers and helping them to burn without polluting the environment or polluting the air.

Green Gicumbi Director General, Eng. Kagenza Jean Marie Vianney said that the Green Gicumbi Gicumbi Project, which aims to build the resilience of Gicumbi residents in terms of climate change and the conservation of the floodplain of the Hurricane River.

Green Gicumbi Director General, Eng. Kagenza Jean Marie Vianney (Photo/Rene Anthere)

Regarding the productivity of the terraces, “but when the terraces are new the yield will increase in the next growing season. This has to do with changing the mindset of the community, how to use the best seeds and how to conserve the environment and productivity that can be multiplied tenfold. These terraces have the advantage of holding the soil, adding fertilizer so that the yield is high. On its sides, mixed-age trees are planted, but they can also be fed to livestock, planted with grass and all are resistant to erosion,” Eng. Kagenza said.

The Mayor of Gicumbi District, Nzabonimpa Emmanuel, said that the Gicumbi project has been a solution for the residents as more than 21,000 people have been employed, and about 600 hectares of radical terraces have been built and another 600 hectares progressive terraces have been completed.

“Sectors close to the Green Gicumbi border have been affected by the floods, but many people have been hit by drugs but have lost their jobs in the equatorial terraces,” he said. It has been significantly reduced. The income of the people has increased and their livelihoods have changed and the violence has decreased,” he added.

Mayor of Gicumbi District, Nzabonimpa Emmanuel (Photo/Rene Anthere)

The activities done up to date

Green Gicumbi is a project implemented by the National Fund for Environment (FONERWA) under the support of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The project, has six years of implementation with a budget of at least Rwf33 billion, and has now been operating in nine sectors of Gicumbi District for two years.

Rwanyange Rene Anthere

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