Rwanda invests $300m to combat Mukungwa River flooding

Sami Hegazi
2 Min Read

The Rwandan government has allocated $300m (382bn Rwandan francs) to a project aimed at mitigating flooding risks along the Mukungwa River, a tributary that feeds into Lake Victoria and ultimately the Nile River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The initiative dubbed the “Volcanoes Community Resilience Project (VRP),” comes in response to concerns about potential flooding in the northern and western provinces, particularly the districts of Musanze, Nyabihu, Gakenke, Burera, and Rubavu, where heavy rains are expected between March and May.

“This project aims to deploy various measures to mitigate flooding along the Mukungwa River,” explained Davis Bugingo, Manager of the Flood Management and Water Storage Division at the Rwanda Water Resources Board. “We will begin with interventions in the upstream catchment, including flood detention structures to reduce peak flow throughout the river system and its tributaries.”

The project will involve comprehensive studies to determine the specific interventions needed, including the construction of detention ponds, expansion of road crossings, riverbank fortification, sediment management, and protection of river buffer zones. Bugingo noted that the initial plan may be adjusted as the project progresses.

Supported by the World Bank and coordinated by Rwanda’s Ministry of Environment, the VRP also involves collaboration with various government institutions, including the Rwanda Meteorology Agency, Rwanda Development Board, and Rwanda Forestry Authority. The project’s overarching goal is to enhance climate resilience, mitigate flood risks, and improve natural resource management and tourism assets within the volcanic region.

With a total financing requirement exceeding $300m, the VRP has secured support from partners such as the World Bank, European Investment Bank, Nordic Development Fund (NDF), and Climate Green Fund. The project is expected to span five years, with specific sections of the Mukungwa River benefiting from ecological measures that integrate eco-tourism initiatives.

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