Experts on water sources have warned that temporary floods that have been experienced in Rwanda especially during rain season could eventually turn the country into a total desert.
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) held a conference in Rwanda’s capital Kigali to assess the impact of climate change, water sources and scientific impact of floods in the country.
The conference, held last week, aimed at celebrating World Water Day.
At the conference, Rwanda’s commission for UNESCO presented research findings – highlighting effects of continued encraoching of hills due to construction of roads and housing activities as causes of massive flooding across the country.
According to Dr. Albert Mutesa – the executive secretary of the commission, said that for instance, “Nyabugogo area in the capital Kigali get over flooded whenever it rains heavily. This is partly due to ongoing pavement and construction activities that leave no space for running water management. We forwarded our findings to concerned authorities including City of Kigali and Ministries,” he said.
“Buildings continue to increase as well as road networks. This takes away soil that would contain running water,” he said.
Dr. Mutesa told KT Press that if nothing is done, lack of underground water sources may cause serious scarcity of water.
Dr. Christian Sekomo, a lecturer at University of Rwanda challenged all concerned authorities to take concrete measures to ensure the country never run short of water sources in a near future.
“We get water because of maintaining our forests and grass. We risk losing it if we continue to let deforestation and construction activities go unchecked,” he said.
Rwanda’s Ministry of Environment (MINEMA) says it has stepped up measures to maintain water sources in collaboration with stakeholders, according to Francois Tetero – head of natural water resource at the Ministry.
Rwanda had previously experienced disappearance of water sources. A case was in 2005, when water disappeared from Karago Lake in Nyabihu district, Western Rwanda due to deforestation at Gishwati forest.