Local residents and refugees applaud Gov't for rehabilitation of Gihembe ravine

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Local residents and refugees in Gihembe camp located in Gicumbi District have expressed great contentment after the rehabilitation the life threatening ravine in the outskirts of Gihembe refugee camp.

The official handover of completed works to rehabilitate Gihembe ravine took place on February 24, 2016.

The works were undertaken by the engineering brigade of Rwanda Defense Force through the Project dubbed “Environmental Protection in and around refugee camps” implemented by MIDIMAR, funded by the Fund for Environment and Climate Change (FONERWA).

Gihembe ravine was effect of soil erosion caused by water flowing from uphill camp hosting more than 14,000 Congolese refugees since 1997. For years, without proper solution, it became a huge landslide which cut off the road and therefore paralyzed transport and communication between residents in the area.

According to reports by local authorities, the ravine have swallowed lives of six people including four refugees and two local residents.

“We could never believe that one day this ravine would be fixed. It is a great relief for not only refugees, but also local resident to see this ravine fixed.” Said Nsanzimfura Rwisumbura, the representative of refugees in Gihembe camp. In addition to saving lives, the rehabilitation of this ravine reconnect the population in this area, and becomes an opportunity to benefit both local residents and refugees

Minister of Disaster Management and refugee affairs, Seraphine Mukantabana assured that, through the same project and in collaboration with other partners like UNHCR, other environmental protection activities will be done to prevent incidents that may damage completed works.

“The fixing of gihembe ravine is a milestone achievement, thanks to everybody who contributed different ways, but most specifically to FONERWA to provide funds “said Minister Mukantabana.

“We shall urgently undertake additional works like water haversting and channeling inside the camp and around the rehabilitated area, to safeguard the completed works and mitigate similar risk”