PRIME MINISTER OF RWANDA, DR EDOUARD NGIRENTE, OFFICIATES NYANDUNGU ECO-PARK UNVEILING
Rwanda’s Prime Minister, Dr Edouard Ngirente, has on 18 July 2022 officiated the unveiling of Nyandungu Eco-Park. The event was held on the first day of the Africa Protected Areas Congress, which is taking place in Kigali this week. The unveiling was also attended by the Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, Rwanda’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Vincent Biruta and Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya.
At the event, students from the nearby Kigali Parents School had the opportunity to visit the park, join a guided tour to learn about the unique biodiversity on their doorstep, ride bikes along some of the eight kilometres of walking and biking trails, and become birdwatchers for the day.
The students also performed a song welcoming guests to Nyandungu and a delivered poem entitled “Sweet Breath,” which calls on humanity to stop environmental degradation and reconnect with nature.
Presenting the history of the park, Juliet Kabera, Director General of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority, shared how Nyandungu Eco-Park has been restored and how it will serve as a blueprint for wetland rehabilitation across the City of Kigali.
“We will rehabilitate additional wetlands in Kigali and work is already underway. In doing so, wetlands in the city can fulfil their proper function and benefit both our environment and people.”
The creation of Nyandungu Eco-Park represents the single largest addition to public green space in Kigali’s history. The park provides a space for residents and visitors to the city to explore and learn from nature, and is part of Rwanda’s efforts to harness eco-tourism to restore biodiversity and conserve urban wetland ecosystems.
The restoration of the wetland and creation of an eco-tourism park was funded by the Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) with support from the UK Government, the Italian Government through the Ministry for Ecological Transition and the Global Environment Facility through the UN Environment Programme.
The six-year initiative has restored the Nyandungu wetland ecosystem and promoted the sustainable management of natural resources. The initiative also created approximately 4,000 green jobs.
Speaking at the event, Urujeni Martine, Vice Mayor in Charge of Social Affairs and Development, reiterated the power of nature as an ally for development, health promotion and climate change resilience.
“I encourage all Rwandans to take care of wetlands, since conserving wetlands is a collective responsibility to sustainably enjoy their ecosystem services. The City of Kigali pledges its full support for protection and further development of this eco-park to make it even more attractive,” she said.
The Vice Mayor called on all residents in Kigali to protect wetlands by “preventing the dumping of waste and rubbish in wetlands, restoring barrow bits, planting native plants and tree species and stopping unsustainable activities in wetlands.”
The park opened to the public on 8 July 2022 and welcomes visitors seven days a week from 6am-6pm. Follow @NyandunguPark on Twitter and Instagram for more information on visiting the park.
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