In 2019, the Government of Rwanda through the Ministry of Environment secured a funding of USD32 Million from the Green Climate Fund (GCF) to implement the project entitled “Strengthening climate resilience of rural communities in Northern Rwanda’’. The project is locally referred to as the ‘Green Gicumbi Project’. It is currently implemented by the National Fund for Environment-FONERWA while the Ministry of Environment is the Accredit Entity.
The 6-year project mainly focuses on reducing vulnerability to climate change by enhancing the adaptive capacity of the targeted groups in the project intervention area as well as reducing their exposure to climate risks.
The project intervention area covers 9 Sectors that fall within Muvumba B sub-catchment comprise around 252 villages and targeting 150,000 and 380,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries, respectively. The sectors covered by the project are Rubaya, Cyumba, Kaniga, Mukarange, Rushaki and Shangasha, Manyagiro, Byumba, and Bwisige.
The high dependency of the local population in the targeted areas on agriculture as a source of food and income makes them highly vulnerable to the degradation processes occurring within the catchment. Particularly at risk are tea and coffee farmers as both crops are highly sensitive to climate change and adverse losses in productions are already evident.
The estimated annual loss of production from climate variability at the Mulindi tea plantation (2300 ha) in Gicumbi over the last six years ranges from 2.0 to 3.3 million tonnes of green leaf per year, with an equivalent market loss of 2.5 to 4.1 million dollars.
The Green Gicumbi project has therefore broadly been tailored to address the specific issues related to watershed protection through land husbandry practices including agroforestry as a land and soil protection measure among other benefits.