The Green Gicumbi project operates in the Northern Province, Gicumbi district. It helps the rural community in strengthening climate resilience, to participate in environmental conservation and to do agriculture based on seeds that are resistant to the climate change.
Background and context of Project
Rwanda’s sensitivity to climate change is assessed as being high while its adaptive capacity is low. In recent years, over the last decade, the frequency and severity of climate-related impacts, particularly floods, droughts, and landslides have significantly increased, resulting in loss of lives, crop and livestock losses, health risks, and damage to infrastructure, and reduced land availability that impacts food security and export earnings. The challenges to livelihoods have worsened as recent population growth and land scarcity have pushed people to settle in flood-prone areas and they have left devastating effects, particularly on those with low adaptive capacity and resilience to climate change.
The high dependency on rainfed agriculture, the hilly topography, low access to climate information, and the depletion of forest stocks have been identified as some of the factors exacerbating Rwanda’s vulnerability to such hazards. Data from the Rwanda Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment and Index Final Report national survey (2018) shows that in the Northern Province, Gicumbi District ranks highest in exposure to climate hazards and second-highest insensitivity to climate-related impact. The above two indicators particularly give Gicumbi the highest rank for the potential impact caused by climate hazards.
In 2019, the Government of Rwanda secured funding of USD32 Million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement the project entitled “Strengthening climate resilience of rural communities in Northern Rwanda”, commonly and locally referred to as the ‘Green Gicumbi Project. The project is currently being executed by the Rwanda Green Fund-FONERWA.
The 6-year project mainly focuses on reducing vulnerability to climate change by enhancing the adaptive capacity of the targeted groups in the project intervention area as well as reducing their exposure to climate risks. The project intervention area covers 9 Sectors that fall within Muvumba B sub-catchment comprising around 252 villages and targeting 150,000 and 380,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, respectively. The sectors covered by the project are Rubaya, Cyumba, Kaniga, Mukarange, Rushaki and Shangasha, Manyagiro, Byumba, and Bwisige.
The Green Gicumbi project has also broadly been tailored to address the specific issues related to watershed protection through land husbandry practices including agroforestry as a land and soil protection measure among other benefits.
The project generally consists of a total of 133 activities grouped into 27 sub-components under 4 main components that are:
Component 1: Watershed protection and climate resilient agriculture Component 2: Sustainable forest management and sustainable energy Component 3: Climate resilient settlements
Component 4: Knowledge transfer and mainstreaming
In the last three years of implementation, the project has recorded tremendous successes with more achievements projected ahead as the project is midway through its six-year life cycle.
The broad areas through which Green Gicumbi Project has to date demonstrated results include:
▪ Restored critical watershed functions that support the majority of Gicumbi District’s mostly rural population
▪ Strengthened the climate resilience of those most vulnerable to climate change by investing in:
▪ Climate resilient agriculture supported smallholder farmers and improved the management of forest resources using best practices.
▪ Facilitating a shift away from subsistence farming of marginal lands into more productive and sustainable livelihoods.
Furthermore, the project has a high potential to cost-effectively scale up, replicate, and sustain the results of interventions beyond project completion through lessons learned, and knowledge products that will increasingly inform communication packages for dissemination and knowledge sharing across multiple stakeholders.
The current media tour provides a critical entry point to support the knowledge sharing for effective communication and dissemination of Green Gicumbi project interventions and results across a wide range of national stakeholder communities.
Some of the Project’s key Achievements in terms of statistics are as follow (3 years):
Component 1: Watershed protection and climate resilient agriculture
▪ 12,000 hectares of land under erosion control (with both 600 Ha of Radical terraces and 600 Ha of Progressive and radical terraces)
▪ 23,000 green jobs were created thanks to project interventions across the nine Sectors
▪ Agroforestry established on 4,801 hectares of land
▪ 981 hectares of agricultural land planted with protective forestry
▪ 40 hectares of high elevation established with coffee plantations
▪ 50 hectares of high-elevation land established with tea plantations
▪ Three smart weather stations were established to provide climate services to farmers
▪ 160 cows distributed to vulnerable farmers to enhance their economic resilience
▪ 694 million Rwanda francs were disbursed to 14 cooperatives in Community Adaptation Fund (CAF) funding. These projects include those in the agriculture and forestry Sectors.
Component 2: Sustainable forest management and sustainable energy
▪ 1,107 hectares of degraded forests rehabilitated
▪ 19,900 households supported with clean cookstoves
▪ 300 modern beehives distributed to 6 cooperatives and 40 beekeepers trained
▪ 3,300,000 high-quality seedlings raised and planted
▪ 40 variable speed drives (VSD) installed in Mulindi tea factory to ensure energy efficiency
▪ One Tea drier and one fuel wood hangar were installed in Mulindi tea factory to contribute to both energy saving and reducing carbon emission
▪ 10 domestic biogas installed
▪ 40 institution larges stoves installed
▪ 5,746 Tons of Co2 (Equivalent) reduced to due project interventions
Component 3: Climate resilient settlements
▪ 135 rainwater harvesting systems and 33 underground tanks/cisterns constructed (3,028,000 Litres capacity)
▪ 32 hectares of infiltration ditches established
▪ 4,642 check-dams established into gullies
▪ 40 climate resilient settlements constructed and occupied in Rubaya sector while 60 more dwelling units are under construction in Kaniga sector to host vulnerable families living in high-risk zones
▪ 30 kilometers of channels protected with bamboo trees, shrubs, and grasses
▪ 200 layer chickens distributed to households relocated to Kabeza green settlement in Rubaya sector
Component 4: Knowledge transfer and mainstreaming
▪ 7,215 people trained in adaptation planning, project objectives and goals, climate change causes, effects, and mitigation measures.
▪ 185 community coordination committee members established and trained on the committee roles, project objectives and goals, adaptation planning, etc