View of participants at the meeting in Kayanza

KAYANZA June 28th (ABP) – The ADRA Burundi association organized on Tuesday June 26, 2018, at the headquarters of Kayanza province (north of Burundi), a meeting of implementing strategies to protect the Kibira National Park and adopt measures to curb bushfires during this dry season, a check by ABP revealed.

Apart from constraints on the protection of Kibira National Park, the governor of Kayanza province mentioned people planting eucalyptus in arable land or in marshes, which he said contributed to the reduction of agricultural production and drying up of water sources. As an illustration, he said, 60 water sources have completely dried up in Mbirizi area of ​​Gatara commune following the planting of eucalyptus in the marshes.In his opening address at the meeting, the governor of Kayanza province, Mr.  Anicet Ndayizeye, said that there are still challenges in protecting the nature reserve. He noted that these include sawmills, goers looking for honey, medicinal plants and bamboos, poachers, illegal miners and charcoal manufacturers. Regarding bushfires, he said they were controlled at 90%, a success that, according to Mr. Ndayizeye, results from sensitization made to the various stakeholders in the field.

To that end, Mr. Ndayizeye invites the owners to destroy all these plantations of eucalyptus, for not being sanctioned. At the same time, he requested the Director General of the Burundian Office for Environmental Protection (OBPE) to include in the list of protected areas, Mount Mukinya, which straddles Kayanza Province and Ngozi because, he continued, it would help maintain the local water sources and crop fields today threatened by runoff from this mountain.

Taking the floor, the Director General of OBPE, Mr. Samuel Ndayiragije, said that Kibira is an irreplaceable heritage, because of its importance for the country, where he called on all stakeholders to protect it and apply it with a special accent. Regarding the proliferation of protected areas, Ndayiragije said Mount Mukinya and Mount Inanzegwe in Makamba province (south) could be included in the list of protected areas.

At the end of the workshop, the participants proposed some measures, among which are the prohibition of the trade of any product coming from the Kibira like the bamboos, the closing of the small paths crossing the Kibira and the limitation of the tracks with a view to controlling the coming and going movements. OBPE is committed to recruiting new agents to do this work. The ADRA association is ready to feed, for three months, some members of the Batwa community, the majority of whom are poachers and many others.

It should be noted that the workshop saw the participation of the heads of the defense and security forces, three administrators from around the Kibira including Muruta, Kabarore and Matongo, as well as OBPE agents who are on all the hills close to Kibira.

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