UNDP-ALM Rwanda Study - December 2012

ABSTRACT: In 2007 heavy flooding and subsequent landslides in Western Rwanda took the lives of dozens of people in the Nyabihu District. The extreme weather caused extensive damage to houses and property, displacing thousands. For rural Rwandans, with the vast majority of the population engaged in agriculture, irregularity and unpredictability of rainfall has serious consequences (especially in the Western and Eastern provinces).

In recognition of the negative effects caused by recurrent droughts and erratic rainfall, establishing early warning and disaster preparedness systems, amongst other adaptation measures, have been identified as a priority. However, the capacity of communities, local government, and national government to respond adequately remains limited. In response, this project is working to manage and cope with the greater frequency and intensity of droughts and floods by increasing resilience and enhancing water security in the Gishwati ecosystem.

The designated project area includes regions within the crest area of Nile-Congo basins, identified as being among the most vulnerable to climate change. These regions are already being adversely affected by the increased frequency in floods and landslides. The project aims to reduce the environmental vulnerability of the Gishwati ecosystem and its associated Nile-Congo crest watersheds, and in doing so improve the lives of the people that derive their livelihoods from it.