Home Business & TechEconomy Rwanda Starts Expansion Of Mountain Gorilla’s Habitat

Rwanda Starts Expansion Of Mountain Gorilla’s Habitat

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
1:39 pm

Rwanda has launched expansion of the habitat of the rare, endangered mountain gorilla, officially known as the volcano national park.

Located largely in Musanze district, Northen Province, the park will be increased by 23% from 160 square kilometers to  197.4 square kilometers.

The expansion which will be spread on 10 years will affect 3600 households from Nyange and Kinigi sectors of the Northern Province.

However, some areas in Rubavu, Burera, Nyabihu and Musanze itself will also serve as buffer zone.

‘Rwanda Development Board(RDB) which has parks’ management in its attribution said that the expansion intends to find more space to the increasing number of mountain gorillas “so that they do not feel discomfort and attempt to find a new home”.

The volcano national park is located in the Virunga massif which is shared with Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda and Rwanda itself.

Mountain gorillas freely move from either side and come back whenever it pleases them.

”We need to provide the park’s population with enough space with  a buffer zone to avoid encroachment as we experienced it in some areas,” Eugene Mutangana, a senior official in conservation at RDB said.

‘We are promoting peaceful coexistence between the park and its neighboring communities.”

Every year Rwanda organises a Gorilla naming ceremony for every new gorilla babies. Rwanda is home to 880 mountain gorillas left on the planet

RDB expects the expansion of the park to increase stability of the animals which translates in more revenues. The revenues, they said, would increase by 20%.

Rwanda will invest $ 250 million in expansion of the Volcano national park, including expropriation of the households.

”On top of expropriation fee, we shall provide a model village settlement to the community that will pave away for the expansion of the park. We shall support their projects that will earn them more income than what they are gettin today,” Mutangana said.

A census that was conducted in 2019 estimated the population of gorillas in the Virunga massif to be 1,063.

Activities that aim the safeguard of the endangered mountain gorillas increase every other year in Rwanda.

‘The country gives 10% of revenues from parks to communities adjacent to the parks. The revenue share comes in form of public goods like clean water, health centers, schools, game lodges among others.

The activities turn around living standards of the communities and prevent encroachment and poaching.

Kwita Izina past event

Another event is Gorilla naming ceremony- Kwita Izina, where, on annual basis, baby gorillas are given names.

‘The event features conservation activities, new pledges and commitments to good practices in conservation at large and promotional activities.

The Covid-19 pandemic has affected the way we celebrate Kwita Izina, but I’m happy to see so many partners and friends joining us today virtually to continue this tradition,” President Paul Kagame said during the virtual Kwita Izina event, September 25,2021.

Revenue from Gorilla trekking in Volcanoes National Park grew by 25 per cent in 2018 to $19.2 million from the previous year, according to Rwanda Development Board data.

Meanwhile, luxury hospitality industry is taking shape, starting from Volcano national park.

One and only gorilla nest in Musanze

Singita and Kwitonda House in the Volcano national park

Related Posts