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Project // Support to the Integrated Management of Water Resources of Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River

This project aims at improving the hydrological and operational management of Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River, while pursuing an integrated and Nexus-based approach. The project started in 2019 and is led by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) in cooperation with the regional partner ABAKIR (Autorité du Bassin du Lac Kivu et de la Rivière Ruzizi).

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© GIZ, Headquarter of ABAKIR

Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River are situated in East Central Africa and both lie on the border of its riparian countries: Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), and Rwanda.

The watercourses provide many ecosystem services: drinking water, irrigation water, industrial water, fishing, pollination, soil fertility, erosion control, and the carbon sequestering or provision of non-timber forest products. The basin faces a multitude of threats arising from unsustainable practices in agriculture and forestry as well as poor land and catchment management. Many of these threats are expected to worsen under climate change, with the basin already experiencing negative consequences.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been commissioned by Delegation Rwanda of the European Union and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to implement the regional project; “Support to the integrated management of water resources of Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River”. Participating countries are Rwanda, Burundi and DRC.

The Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River basin face manifold challenges relating to the unsustainable use of water and related resources and the lack of integrated management of these resources across sectors. This leads to negative impacts well beyond the natural resources sector and affects both socioeconomic development and regional cooperation opportunities.

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The project pursues an integrated and Nexus-based approach that builds on a sound understanding of the basin’s resources and their integrated management across sectors and national boundaries. It underscores the necessity to have a strong regional institution with the capacity to ensure the long-term sustainable and cooperative development of the basin’s resources in order to meet the needs of both the environment and the populations across national boundaries that depend on it.

The project contributes not only to sustainable development and regional stability in Central Africa, but also to the EU’s overall developmental and global commitments, including the EU Council Conclusions on Water Diplomacy and the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, namely SDGs 2, 6 and 7. Furthermore, the project seeks to promote regional cooperation while considering its political and security situation.


Kristine Herbomel,

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