The economic community of the great lakes countries (CEPGL) believes that streamlining the agricultural sector in the Rusizi basin will get the grant needed as this will support Rwanda, Congo, and Burundi.
This is a project by the CEPGL countries, the project will focus on irrigation of 177,000 hectares through the Rusizi basin and will see Rwanda, Congo, and Burundi involved.
The first phase requires 344 million used to irrigate at least 33,000 hectares, 10 he of this is in Rwanda where the first phase is expected to commence. The director-general of the Rwanda agricultural board RAB Dr. Karangwa Patrick explains that even though this is an expensive venture, this will be beneficial to all the farmers of surrounding the basin.
"We are asking ourselves how we will collaborate more as CEPGL to get funds to develop, even though Rwanda doesn’t account many hectares in this but we will work as a team," Dr. Karangwa Patrick, Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Board said.
Experts from the CEPGL member countries have converged in Kinshasa to discuss ways in which they can find means to accomplish this project. Officials from CEPGL say that the pros outweigh the cons.
Herman Tuyaga, Secretary-General of CEPGL said that; " We have 3 million people living around the Rusizi basin, and when counting in those in the environs then that counts for 5 million people. We hope that by 2040 we will have enough water to irrigate our pieces of land. We have started the campaigns now because we realized that if we do not work on it now, it will be expensive in the future,"
In 2015, the African development bank issued $1.9 million to conduct research to verify what is needed in this project. Officials say that collaboration will be key in doing this.
JMV Dabire, in charge of Economic development as AfDB, noted that; "The project was well laid out, what’s left is to get the funds. Our bank is there for consultations and we are ready to hear them out. We are hoping for fruitful discussions so we will wait for the recommendations,"
The Rusizi basin constitutes 177 hectares of land however only 60 hectares will be irrigated. The rest will be built on terraces which will cost $1.9 million in the next 20 years. Stakeholders and various funders are expected to boost this project.
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