[PHOTOS]: Minister Tumushime calls for agroforestry practices
The Minister of Lands and Forestry, Francine Tumushime has emphasized the need for agroforestry practices in communities to create integrated and sustainable land-use systems while conserving the environment.
The Minister made the call this Saturday in Ngoma District where she joined residents in the monthly communal work—Umuganda—held in Sake Sector.
The exercise was also attended by the Inspector of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana.
During Umuganda, Police, members of Rwanda Youth Volunteers in Community Policing and residents cleared at least 100 hectares of land where trees will be planted come next month when the tree planting period is scheduled to start.
Inspector of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana speaks during Umuganda in Ngoma district.
While commending Rwanda National Police (RNP) for its efforts in environmental protection activities and planting of trees in particular, Minister Tumushime thanked the big turn up adding that “combined efforts achieve the ultimate goal.”
RNP planted at least 400 hectares of trees in different parts of the country. Late last year, the force signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Lands and Forestry to jointly partner to protect, conserve and develop lands and forestry.
The formal agreement defines that the two institutions will plant at least 27, 000 hectares of trees in the next five years – 5, 000 hectares of hilly areas and 22, 000 hectares on agroforestry places. Since then, RNP and youth volunteers have planted about 50, 000 trees in different parts of the country.
“You came in big number today with the same goal, that’s why we have managed to clear such a big land (100 hectares) where trees will be planted. This shows that where people come together nothing is impossible,” Minister Tumushime told Sake residents.
Minister of Lands and Forestry, Francine Tumushime speaks during Umuganda.
She observed that the Eastern Province has fewer forests noting that if nothing is done to plant more trees the region could easily plunge into a desert.
RNP, under its afforestation programme, plans to plant about 14744 hectares of trees in the Eastern Province.
She further urged residents to not only plant trees in farms but also in their homesteads, and also to take the necessary care of trees to ensure proper growth of trees.
On his part, IGP Gasana, said that sustainable security includes aspects of protecting yourself, being protected and jointly working together in fighting and prevention of crime through community policing.
He also commended the role of youth volunteers in crime prevention efforts through awareness and human security activities.
The youth group which has over 260, 000 members countrywide is actively involved in building houses for the poor, planting trees, rehabilitating and creating roads linking communities, among others. Their activities since 2013 when it was formed, are valued at over Rfw630 million.
IGP Gasana challenged residents to embrace community policing initiatives of information sharing, neighbourhood watch, Irondo, among others, to fights crimes like drug trafficking and abuse, family conflicts, gender based violence and child abuse.
“We have many villages in the country that are free of crimes, and this shows that where people work together communities become safer and secure. This requires everyone to be responsible and stand up against criminal activities, and ensure that suspects are identified, reported and arrested,” IGP Gasana said.
Community-centre policing has been credited for increased safety and security in the country.