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Car Free Day Excites Rwandans

Posted on 29 May 2016 by peter

City residents turned up in sports wear and accessories to enjoy a walk on the smooth tarmac

City residents turned up in sports wear and accessories to enjoy a walk on the smooth tarmac

For the first time, Rwandans today switched off car engines and walked and cycled to observe the just introduced Car Free Day.

City residents assembled in the car free zone in the central business district while others gathered at the massive parking yard of Rwanda Revenue Authority Premises to recieve free medical checkup for non communicable diseases which a recent survey indicated were on the rise.

The City Mayor told residents that Rwanda needs a health population and urged them on prevention measures than waiting to suffer from preventable diseases. Residents also engaged in fitness exercises.

From 7am upto noon, vehicles were not driven on roads including; KN4 Avenue, KN3 Road, KN5 Road, KG11 Avenue, and KG17.

Car Free Day aims at encouraging Rwandans to be less dependent on their cars and cutdown pollution, noise and danger that they produce.

Below are moments captured on Camera by KigaliToday’s Plaisir  Muzogeye

click for more https://www.flickr.com/photos/kigali-today/albums/72157669040860685

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Rwanda and US University Sign Deal to Invest in Social Impact

Posted on 26 May 2016 by peter

Wharton University MBA students meeting with President Paul Kagame

Wharton University MBA students meeting with President Paul Kagame

Rwanda is engaging social impact investors to take part in the country’s development agenda.

Rwanda last year signed a deal with a US based Wharton University to facilitate knowledge exchange and encourage policy change in national markets.

The academic institution is a global leader in Business and Finance studies. About 30 MBA students today met with President Paul Kagame at Village Urugwiro.

The president told students that Rwanda has used its human capital to move from scratch to economic growth despite suffering the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

“22 years ago we saw bad things humans are capable of, today you see the good the same human beings are capable of,” Kagame said during interaction with the MBA students.

Rwandans decided to move on and shape a brighter future. The country has emerged among the rapid growing economies on the continent, registering an annual growth rate of 8% for the past decade.

“People got together and said we can only make a difference when we shape our future and leave our past behind,” Kagame said.

The President said that Rwandans have opened up to work with partners in development of which Wharton University should be part of this journey; “It is a great pleasure for us to be with you and learn from one another.”

Meanwhile Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Development Board who accompanied the students and their staff told KT Press that RDB had signed an agreement with the University to extend its philanthropy activities and social impact investments in Rwanda.

“We signed an agreement last year, which will see Wharton University-leader in Finance help us attract investments in social impact.”

Meanwhile, Catherine J. Klein, Vice Dean for Wharton’s Social Impact Initiative, told KT Press that her team has visited Rwanda five times, and look forward to lending their expertise in promoting and developing business strategies.

Wharton Social Impact Initiative promote business strategies through research, consulting, hands-on training and outreach as well as advancing the science and practice of social impact.

President Kagame receives a gift

President Kagame receives a gift

Wharton students interact with President Kagame

Wharton students interact with President Kagame

(L)Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Development Board listens attentively during a light discussion

(L)Francis Gatare, CEO of Rwanda Development Board listens attentively during a light discussion

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Kigali city Mayor (in white) and other experts at a Metrolab forum on Wednesday

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World City Planners Want Kigali to Host MetroLab Headquarters

Posted on 25 May 2016 by peter

Kigali city Mayor (in white) and other experts at a Metrolab forum on Wednesday

Kigali city Mayor (in white) and other experts at a Metrolab forum on Wednesday

Global experts on city planning have today proposed that Rwanda’s Capital, Kigali should host the regional Metrolab headquarters.

The experts are holding their 7th cession also called Metropolitan Strategic Planning Laboratory (MetroLab) in Kigali, in partnership with the World Bank Group.

The four-day forum has brought together city planners and political leaders, to discuss metropolitan matters.

More than 50 experts are discussing sustainable solutions to city development challenges while also sharing experience about urban management and development.

“Each city serves as a learning laboratory for urban planners around the globe,” says Ede Ijjasz Vasque, the senior Director for the World Bank’s Social, Urban and Resilience Global practice.

“By connecting global cities together, MetroLab shares solutions for growth that are not only inclusive and sustainable but also serve to alleviate poverty and share prosperity.”

The City of Kigali was acknowledged upon the cleanness, which gives it a merit of cleanest and greenest city in Africa.

Experts say that Kigali also serves as a model city in quick service delivery and smart technology whereby internet connectivity is 100%, with a 4G LTE internet.

“Kigali City merits to host a regional Metrolab headquarter thanks to a good planning model it provides,” Yasser Aabdel-Aleem Awny, World Bank country Manager told KT Press in a separate interview.

The World Bank Group, in 2015, ranked Rwanda among six top cities in the world that demonstrate global competitiveness.

However, Victor Vergara a Lead Urban Specialist emphasized that African cities have unique opportunities but especially lack proper long term planning. Participants agree that African cities have good lessons to share.

Kigali City Mayor, Monique Mukaruriza said;  “It is true City of Kigali is on a quick pace of development; however we still face the financial and housing problems. I expect to learn a lot from these experts.”

This is the second MetroLab hosted by an African City but the first to explore the unique planning strategies and opportunities of regional development in a landlocked country.

The metrolab program is a joint initiative between the World Bank Group and other partners, representing best practices from cities throughout the world.

Since its inception in 2014, the Metrolab program has been hosted by Rio, Paris, Seoul, Mumbai, New York and Dar Es Salaam.

World City Planning Experts at a meeting in Kigali

World City Planning Experts at a meeting in Kigali

SOURCE: KT-PRESS

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Kagame “Ashamed” Africa Still Struggles to Get Electricity

Posted on 25 May 2016 by peter

President Kagame (c) in Lusaka, Zambia for the 51st AfDB meeting

President Kagame (c) in Lusaka, Zambia for the 51st AfDB meeting

President Paul Kagame arrived in Lusaka, Zambia on Tuesday morning to attend the annual meeting of the African Development Bank Group and is scheduled for several panel discussions.

The five-day meeting (May 23-27) is the 51st annual edition of the Bank. In a sideline event held Tuesday afternoon on energy, its panel was President Kagame, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta and AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina.

The continental bank believes that Africa cannot wait for the best clean form of energy generation but “simply needs energy now”.

Kagame feels it’s a shame that with abundant resources the continent is still failing to generate enough energy to trigger an industrial revolution;  “Lighting and powering Africa really means industries. We won’t be able to achieve that by just off-grid solutions. The approach for us is making sure we indeed have the right mix.”

“I won’t speak for other presidents, but I am ashamed that Africa doesn’t have electricity,” Adesina repeated President Kagame’s statement made during the recent World Economic Forum on Africa held in Kigali, Rwanda.

Rwanda which needs about 563 MW by 2018 from the current less than 200MW, wants to quickly solve its energy deficit. The country has moved from 7% to 24% for grid power and from 5% to 22% for off grid energy in the last few years.

In February 2011, the AfDB approved $15.8million as part of funding for Rwanda’s $90million KivuWatt methane gas extraction project from Lake Kivu. Five years later in  May 2016, the project started producing 26MW of energy. In the second phase it will produce an additional 74MW.

However, in a 2015 power agreement, Kenya was expected to start exporting 30 MW to Rwanda in 2016 but this has failed. Kagame says; “Kenya was ready to sell us power and I was ready to take it – but there was no transmission capacity.”

“We need three things to address energy in Africa – finance, technology, expertise” says Kassim Majaliwa, Prime Minister, Tanzania.

Although Africa presents a huge energy potential only 16% of the population is connected to any form of power source. “We need to stop theorising but put in place practical and tangible solutions,” Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta told leaders and policy makers.

For AfDB President Akinwumi, the continent cannot develop without energy;  “Africa Doesn’t need pity, it needs resources. Even insects move from the darkness to the light. We’re simply tired of not having electricity.”

According to Nachilala Nkombo the Deputy Director of ONE Campaign Africa, “Africa’s pension fund holds over $300 billion invested outside the continent. This money, she says “can finance Africa’s energy needs”.

She said that 420 million Africans live on less than $1.25 a day. The number will increase to 550 million by 2025 if Africa does nothing.

About 3500 Africans that have drowned into the Mediterranean sea and more attempting to crossover to Europe escaping poverty and bad environment in Africa, there is a solution.

The President of the African Development Bank announced that  AfDB is putting up a fund with $5billion specifically to incubate ideas from young Africans.

“We are tired of poverty and bad environment and one way to deal with the issues is to invest in industrialisation,” Kagame told participants.

Zambia’s President Edgar Lungu hosting the meeting  said, “We expect that AfDB will generate solutions that will enable Africa address energy issues and climate change. What is consoling is that we have a good plan from AfDB to solve this crisis in our continent”.

“There is a new momentum. We are beginning to move with a sense of urgency as a continent. It’s never too late. Energy mix will be dictated by our needs and resources,” President Kagame said.

The meeting attracted Heads of state, energy experts, representatives of global energy agencies, financial institutions and researchers.

The 50th edition of  AfDB meeting was held in Kigali in 2015.

President Kagame signs in a book on arrival in Lusaka, Zambia for the AfDB meeting

President Kagame signs in a book on arrival in Lusaka, Zambia for the AfDB meeting

Heads of state and government in a group photo

Heads of state and government in a group photo

51st Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank  Lusaka (Zambia)  24 May 2016

51st Annual Meeting of the African Development Bank Lusaka (Zambia) 24 May 2016

participants attending the meeting

participants attending the meeting

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Rwanda Proves World Wrong As Kagame Unveils 25MW Methane Plant

Posted on 16 May 2016 by peter

President Kagame at KivuWatt power plant

President Kagame at KivuWatt power plant

For many decades, scientists had claimed that it was very dangerous to extract methane gas from Rwanda’s lake Kivu which is so close to Nyiragongo active volcano in DRC.

In 2009 when Rwanda started works on extracting methane gas from lake Kivu to meet its national energy needs, scientists across the world warned against such a move because they didn’t trust the technology applied wouldn’t cause any trouble. It had never been tried anywhere.

After so many years of scientific research and testing on site at Lake Kivu, Rwanda is now able to extract methane gas from lake and so far generating 26 MW of electricity.

President Paul Kagame this morning drove to Bwishyura sector in Karongi district to officially switch on the world’s only gas water extraction plant- KivuWatt Power Plant.

“Many people thought it was impossible to be successful with this but we are happy today that things have proved to be different,” Kagame said after a guided tour at the plant.

Kenya’s Cabinet secretary for energy and petroleum Charles Keter and Congolese Hydrocarbons minister Prof. Aimé Ngoi Mukena Lusa Diese  and other representatives of energy firms were present.

Kagame said, “The 26MW we have today is only one positive step to solve our energy problems. KivuWatt Power Plant is an example of what Rwanda stands for, we keep trying until we succeed.”

When Nyiragongo volcano erupts, its deadly hot lava flows downhill into lake Kivu shared between the two countries. Hot lava may cause the methane gas in the lake to explode and cause massive destruction several kilometers away. A similar incidence happened in Cameroon.

“What is important for me is not these plants or their location, but the electricity that is coming from them,” He said. The plant is located at the shores of Lake Kivu.

KivuWatt Power Plant currently generates 26MW of electricity processed from methane gas extracted from the lake. This is the first phase of generating 100MW  which is also connected to the national grid.

In December last year, it’s when KivuWatt project started generating 26MW which has pushed the company into commercial operation.

“To our neighbors and friends, if you wish to put the pant to scale to serve both Rwanda and DRC, you are most welcome,” Kagame said.

KivuWatt  Power Plant

KivuWatt Power Plant

The Methane gas Extraction deal

Lake Kivu of 2,700 square kilometer size, is one of the world’s three known “exploding lakes”. Two other dangerous lakes are in Cameroon including  Lake Monoun which exploded in 1984 and Lake Nyos that exploded in 1986. This explosion is referred to as lake turnover or  limnic eruption.

The lake contains large amounts of carbondioxide produced by Volcanic and bacterial activity in the lake which eventually generates methane gas deposits.

When the lake cannot hold any more carbondioxide it releases the excess which could erupt violently with disastrous effects on local lives, wildlife, and the environment.

Rwanda thus found it necessary to tap into these gas reserves and turn them into energy.

In March 2009, the construction of the first phase (25MW methane-to-power project) started, with the signing of a power purchase agreement and the Gas Concession Agreement for 100 MW for a period of 25 years, between Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and government.

American-based energy firm-Contour Global disbursed more than $200 million in the first phase, including debt financing from the Netherlands government and African Development Bank.

According to KivuWatt project experts, the Lake is exceptional-given its deep waters that contain very high quantities of dissolved gases-mainly carbon dioxide and methane.

According to Contour Global CEO- Joseph C. Brandt, “The hard fought Kivu Watt Project has realized the Lake’s potential envisioned by President Kagame.”

“We are proud to have catalyzed his vision into a substantial operating project that is mitigating the threat of environmental catastrophe, while providing clean and reliable electricity to Rwanda,” Brandt told KT Press.

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Second Phase Coming

Rwanda’s Infrastructure Minister, James Musoni said the next phase of the project will start very soon-given successful technical tests.

Unlike in the first phase where three gas generators were powered deep into waters to generate 25 megawatts, 9 more gas generators will be powered to generate the remaining 74 megawatts to create a total 100MW hence boosting the country’s energy needs.

Once termed ‘Killer Lake’, Lake Kivu will now serve Rwandans with much-needed energy-thanks to President Kagame’s vision of transforming the Lake into a more productive asset than a threat, according to Brandt.

While experts said Kivu Lake remains a threat-given its limnic eruptions and high volcano tectonic activities, the monitoring of the project impact is already underway, in close partnership with Lake Kivu Monitoring programme.

Employing 58% of Rwandans-17% of them women, KivuWatt project has already had a positive impact to neighbouring citizens beyond electricity access.

Ernest Habimana, a resident of Bwishyura sector in Karongi district, has been employed at the plant since 4 years ago.

“I have managed to send my children to school as well as starting income generating business back home-thanks to this project.”

The official launch of KivuWatt power plant

The official launch of KivuWatt power plant

Part of the KivuWatt power plant

Part of the KivuWatt power plant

Source: KTPress

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More Genocide Victims Massacred By Burundi Refugees Laid To Rest

Posted on 04 May 2016 by peter

Bodies of 568newly discovered genocide victims given decent burial

Bodies of 568newly discovered genocide victims given decent burial

The Brutality of Burundian refugees during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi triggers harsh memories among survivors twenty two years later.

On May 1st, residents of Kinazi in Ruhango district near the border with Burundi, discovered 568 bodies of genocide victims at Gisari and Rubona hills.

“We are relieved to know the whereabouts of our relatives’ bodies,” said Samuel Dusengimana, a genocide survivor from Kinazi.

The discovery was a sharp reminder of how Burundi refugees that had fled a crisis from their country teamed up with Rwanda’s genocide government to massively slaughter Tutsi in a genocide that claimed a million lives.

Survivors in Kinazi say during the genocide, Burundian refugees were very ruthless. They severely tortured victims, beat them with traditional weapons and slicing their bodies to remove hearts and eating them.

Former Bourgmaster of Ntongwe commune Jacques Kagabo is said to have personally supervised these killings at Kinazi.

He gathered the Tutsi together promising to offer them protection but turned around and brought in Interahamwe militia and Burundi refugees that killed them.

Survivors recall that Kagabo mobilized Interahamwe militia and the Burundian refugees to carry out the worst forms of torture against Tutsi during the genocide.

When Rwanda Patriotic Front rebels stopped the Genocide, Kagabo fled into hiding in neighbouring  Democratic Republic of Congo.

More than 60,000 bodies of the genocide victims lay to rest at the Kinazi Genocide memorial, but more bodies are being discovered in several mass graves where the Burundians threw them.

As Kinazi residents gathered for the 22nd commemoration of genocide to offer decent burial to the 568 bodies of newly discovered victims, they said, “We want Burundian perpetrators to be brought to justice.”

Donatille Mukantabana, Speaker of Rwanda Parliament told mourners that Rwanda and Burundi governments are still discussing how Burundi perpetrators can be held accountable.

“We are discussing an extradition treaty with Burundi. We (Rwanda) need the extradition to cover more years before the 1994 Genocide but Burundi is yet to agree on that,” Rwanda’s Minister of Justice, Jonhston Busingye told  KTPress.

Busingye said Rwanda, “Shall make a list of the suspects we want extradited or tried in Burundi. We are gathering information from Gacaca files and other sources.”

According to Minister Busingye, In case Burundi refuses this request, Rwanda may seek intervention from East African Community.

“Those are the two most common international ways in use, but we may apply a third or even a fourth way if Burundi does not agree on our proposal.”

Kinazi residents gathered for 22nd commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi

Kinazi residents gathered for 22nd commemoration of the genocide against Tutsi

Source: KTPress

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President Paul Kagame greets excited locals in Ngoma District on 1st leg of his 3-day tour of the Eastern Province.

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Kagame UPs HeForShe Commitment to 500,000 Champions

Posted on 29 April 2016 by peter

President Paul Kagame greets excited locals in Ngoma District on 1st leg of his 3-day tour of the Eastern Province.

President Paul Kagame greets excited locals in Ngoma District on 1st leg of his 3-day tour of the Eastern Province.

From 100,000 commitment to raise that number of Rwandans backing the global HeForShe campaign, Rwanda made a new move this Thursday to have five times more champions.

President Paul Kagame today called on every Rwandan man to be part of the campaign.

We should have at least 500,000 champions, said Kagame while addressing 1000s of locals in Ngoma District on Day one of two-day eastern province tour.

“I was among the first men to sign up for the campaign. I encourage all men, starting from today, to sign and support women empowerment,” added Kagame.

In September last year, Government launched “HeForShe” initiative – a solidarity campaign for gender equality unveiled by UN Women. What people have to do is log on to www.heforshe.org and sign up using their identifiable name and email.

Today Kagame said: “I know some have signed up but the process is at a slow pace…”

The campaign intends to engage men and boys as agents of change for the achievement of gender equality and women’s rights, by encouraging them to take action against inequalities faced by women and girls.

The Kagame trip also coincided with the International Girls in ICT Day – an opportunity for girls and young women to get an insight into ICT sector, to consider ICT careers through open days at ICT institutions, meeting women role models, and getting “hands on” experience in technology.

To promote women among other citizens in ICT requires huge infrastructure, like Fibre Optic where Rwanda has invested $130 million to roll out a fiber optic cable on 3000km across the country.

The massive investment is intended to ensure rural schools get access to broadband connectivity. However, Ngoma district, especially Mugesera sector, the president’s meeting venue is still lagging behind because the cable is yet to reach there.

“I am going to follow up on why Fibre Optic Cable did not reach you. You should be hearing about it in just stories,” Kagame said amidst cheering from the crowd.

Rwanda is already at the crossroads in investing in ICT in education. Currently, 244,793 laptops have been distributed in 722 schools nationwide. Three million pupils in Rwandan primary schools are set to benefit this new technology which was dubbed ‘One laptop per child’ programme.

In the past few years, ICT has been the driving engine for transformation of the education sector, and allocated with 20% of the national budget, approximately $494 million of $2.47 billion.

Meanwhile, President Kagame challenged Ngoma District residents to support government in fighting poverty.

“To defeat poverty, we must work together to develop ourselves and begin by building on the resources we have.”

Kagame’s reaction came after Ngoma District Mayor, Nambaje Aphrodis, said that the district has been ranked among the poor in the country.

A recent Integrated Household Living Conditions Survey indicates that Ngoma District is the 9th poorest among the 30 district, with 19.5% of its 380,000 population below poverty line, while 46% of them remain relatively poor.

The district mayor told KT Press that most of the challenges attributed to growing poverty levels include, among others, lack of funds to establish Irrigation schemes in response to drought.

“In collaboration with Agriculture Ministry, we set aside 1200 hectares of land for irrigation but this requires Rwf40 billion which the district cannot fund,” Nambaje said.

The district’s economy largely depends on farming and commercial activities, with an annual revenue turnover of Rwf802million. Kagame pledged a tarmac road from Ngoma district to Karongi district in Western Province as part of supporting trade and other activities.

The President’s Citizen Outreach programme will proceeds to Nyagatare district tomorrow.

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Change of color in April 2016

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Why Is Lake Kivu Changing Colours?

Posted on 26 April 2016 by peter

Lake Kivu

Lake Kivu

In the past few weeks, Lake Kivu suddenly began changing colours. Residents on the shores have been taking selfies and sharing on social media.

Photos of the colour changing lake attracted several comments on social media and there was no sign that the lake waters would return to normality.

This caused panic. However, scientists have since laboured to explain why the lake water has been switching colours from blue to green and to pale white.

August Marie Christine Umutoni, the head of the Lake Kivu Monitoring Program (LKMP) told KT Press that people should not be worried. It is referred to as ‘lake whitening’, she said.

Umutoni said lake whitening is caused by weather changes. She said a similar occurrence in lake Kivu was reported in 2005 and 2013.

However, residents have mixed feelings about this rare phenomenon. They are worried considering this lake seats on massive deposits of methane gas which always spills negligible levels into the lake.

People around the lake are spreading several myths and fairy tales which continue to create a sense of fear.

But LKMP has been monitoring regularly the stability of the lake and the integrity of its ecosystem and the program’s experts have carried out investigations and analyses to understand and explain this phenomenon.

Reviews of some literature on the lake and consultation with external experts have also been done.

It has been concluded that the change of color of Lake Kivu is a natural, safe and reversible phenomenon called WHITENING. It happens in many lakes and it has happened on Lake Kivu before.

What is Lake Whitening?

Whitening occurs in many lakes in the world. It for example happened last year on Lake Geneva in Switzerland; it appears sometimes in Lake Ontario in Canada.

Normal color of Lake Kivu

Normal color of Lake Kivu

Change of color in April 2016

Change of color in April 2016

Lake whitening appears in hard lakes rich in carbonates, when water temperature and pH are high.

It occurs in Lake Kivu when the stratification of the surface waters is shallow. The current whitening of the lake actually started in March 2016.

When it started, the colour was grey and the water of the lake appeared milky. Now the lake looks more turquoise or green.

The meteorological conditions encountered on the lake since March (high air temperature, high humidity and high irradiance) favored this situation.

Observations made by the LKMP team revealed that the stratification is really shallow, 28m deep, with high water temperature and pH above 9.2.

In those conditions, the carbonates usually dissolved in the lake’s water are over-saturated and co-precipitate with calcium in the form of small calcite particles.

These particles are white, so it gives a milky or turquoise appearance to the lake’s water.

On the other hand, carbon dioxide gas present in water is consumed by green algae (Cynobacteria), which grow in the lake and make the water look green when observed from far.

This process is thus normal and reversible. Experts say it should last only a few weeks and, at the end of the rainy season, these calcite particles will simply sink and accumulate in the lake sediments.

They also say that lake whitening is a harmless phenomenon for people and for the local fauna and flora. Swimming, navigation and fishing are safe and still allowed.

A magnificent view of lake Kivu from a guesthouse

A magnificent view of lake Kivu from a guesthouse

Connection to climate/weather change?

Change of the color of the lake was triggered by specific weather conditions. It results from a shallow stratification of Lake Surface which triggers a calcite precipitation.

The deep stratification of the lake remained stable and deep waters did not mix with surface waters. Lake Kivu has not yet been affected by the global warming. The changes are normal weather changes.

However, what the experts insisted on is that, the lake’s whitening is not caused by the current extraction of methane gas nor by recent seismic and volcanic activities of Nyiragongo and Nyamulagira as many had suspected.

SOURCE : KT-PRESS

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21 arrested over illegal mining

21 arrested over illegal mining

Posted on 26 April 2016 by peter

21 arrested over illegal mining

​Police in Ngororero District conducted an operation to protect environment and arrested 21 people in connection with illegal mining and illegally cutting down trees in a protected area.

The suspects who are currently held at Kavumu Police station are accused of mining without a license and encroaching on a government gazetted forest and cutting down trees.

According to the District Police Commander (DPC), Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Marc Gasangwa, the suspects were found with no license to mine although they claim that their employer had a license.

“We are still investigating these people but in the meantime we are reminding the public that illegal mining and tree felling are practices that are punishable by law. There are legal channels to authorise miners; you must have a license and all the required equipment for safe mining,” said the DPC.

He further pointed out that; “Mining requires skills and knowledge, if it’s done wrongly, a lot is at risk including people’s lives that’s why it’s a profession that requires expertise.”

With regards to tree felling, SSP Gasangwa outlined a number of laws that punish illegal cutting and transportation of trees – among them being the organic law determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in Rwanda prohibits the felling of trees in forests and protected areas.

“By law, to cut down trees, someone has to first acquire a license from the Sector which these people did not have. Deforestation contributes to environment degradation, which in one way or another has an effect on people’s health and the economy in general and we can’t allow that,” he said.

As per the penal code, the suspects risk a jail term of up to one year and a fine of up to Rwf 10 million for illegal mining as stipulated in article 438.

With regards to tree-cutting SSP Gasangwa pointed out that Article 416 of the Rwanda Penal Code provides for punishment to anyone who cuts trees or who causes others to do so – and the punishments can be a prison term of six months to two years and a fine of Rwf300, 000 to Rwf2 million or one of these penalties.

RNP established and Environmental Protection Unit (EPU) that operates under the Criminal Investigation Department, and mandated to protect the environment in all aspects, including air space, forestry, waters , biodiversity, as well as the enforcement of different legal instruments.

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New Phone System Now Allows Rwandans To Access Status Of Land

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New Phone System Now Allows Rwandans To Access Status Of Land

Posted on 16 April 2016 by peter

New Phone System Now Allows Rwandans To Access Status Of Land

menu on phone that leads to access land information

Rwandans can now easily check the status of a particular plot of land by using their mobile phones as opposed to the long queues at land offices across the country.

The government is partnering with MTN-Rwanda to extend this innovation to the public.

Marie Grace Nishimwe, who works for the department  of Land Management and Titles in the Natural Resources Authority encourages the public to embrace the new application.

“Subscribers need to dial *651# and then Yes. From the menu one can select the language and also insert the land plot number. The system fetches information about the requested plot number,” she told KT Press earlier today.

The subscriber will be able to know the status of the plot whether it is disputed or presented as collateral at any bank.

This enables any interested buyers to probe the land before committing any transactions.

Rwanda has an area of 26 thousands square kilometers. The national land center has about 11 million registered parcels of land. Owners are issued with land titles which they can use as collateral to obtain bank loans.

In 1999, the government of Rwanda passed a series of laws, regulations and policies designed to reform its land tenure system.

The new legal framework was adopted in 2004 providing general guidelines for efficient use of land resources.

Meanwhile, the public has welcomed the innovation with positive feedback. “This is what we call technology based development, says Lys Umwiza on her Facebook post.

“Absolutely amazing,” says Abou-bakr Mulangwa.

New Phone System Now Allows Rwandans To Access Status Of Land

Land use across the country

New Phone System Now Allows Rwandans To Access Status Of Land

Source: KTPress

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