Rugezi wetland conservation project, Rwanda

Marc Ndimukaga

Rugezi wetland is a refuge for wetland-dependent species and plays important roles in regulating water flow. The unsustainable use of wetland resources and that of its watershed coupled with climate change have affected the wetland and caused suffering to locals as well as the whole country. This project is aimed at determining the effect of wetland exploitation on threatened species in Rugezi wetland and exploring alternatives as well as enhancing community awareness. During this project, densities of threatened vertebrate species will be estimated in blocks/patches selected randomly both in disturbed and less or non disturbed areas across the wetland. Types and levels of human activities associated with wetland destruction will be documented. This project is expected to provide update-to-date information on the status of threatened species i.e the endangered Grauer’s swamp warbler (Bradypterus graueri) and the pressure on the natural resources of Rugezi wetlands is expected to reduce. Through environmental education, community members will become aware of the ecological importance of Rugezi wetland and its relationship to other livelihood sources. At the end of the project, a research report will be provided and results will be displayed to stakeholders to help strengthen ongoing efforts in Rugezi wetland and its watershed.