event 24 Oct 2022

The Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Project // Roadmap of erosion management in relation to the occupation of the watershed of the city of Bukavu

By Manassé Lwimo. This workshop from was organized to draw the attention of all the active forces of the Bukavu City Council and other stakeholders to the intrinsic values of the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River watersheds as one of the key links to the sustainable development of the city.

category Policy category Implementation globe Africa globe Central East Africa / Lake Kivu
20221021 1

This workshop from 08-09 August 2022 was organized to draw the attention of all the active forces of the Bukavu City Council and other stakeholders to the intrinsic values of the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River watersheds as one of the key links to the sustainable development of the city. ABAKIR and the various experts at this workshop presented the major challenges/problems in terms of threats/pressures on the protection and governance of these two key watersheds. The overall goal of the workshop was to get the support of the stakeholders in the search and implementation of appropriate solutions to eradicate these threats through a participatory dialogue around concerted actions for Bukavu, a sustainable city.

The aims of the workshop

The overall workshop goals were therefore to;

  • Reflect on the mechanisms that can contribute to ensuring the protection and conservation of the physical and human potential of the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basins in a sustainable and integral way;
  • Strengthen cohesion and balance in the management of the natural resources of the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basins while promoting cooperation between the various state sectors;
  • Strengthen peace and social cohesion between the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basins and the populations living there;
  • To raise awareness among stakeholders on sustainable protection and good governance of these watersheds;

The workshop covered the following elements in detail:

  • Creation of an inventory of the strengths and weaknesses around concerted actions and hold a debate that questions the progress and deadlocks in the protection of the above-mentioned watersheds to establish a participatory dialogue between different local decision makers;
  • Analyze the trajectory of key actors (successes, failures, lessons learned...) in terms of sustainable protection of the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River watersheds;
  • Produce a roadmap/action program (short, medium and long term) in light of the conclusions of the findings previously established by each of the five thematic groups.

The workshop's methodology

The workshop methodology was as follows: the facilitator and the team of multidisciplinary experts began by familiarizing themselves with the workshop's concept note and other related documents on the theme.

During the workshop, the participants were asked to follow five presentations by different experts, followed by work in groups and exchanges in plenary. Particular emphasis was put on the interaction of participants during the discussions in order to bring their contribution to enrich the elements of the roadmap discussing the strengths and weaknesses of sustainable protection of the urban ecosystem, city of Bukavu, Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River basins.

The methodological approach consisted of a combination of theoretical and practical aspects around the challenges of the demographic pressure in the city of Bukavu, the process of its spatial management/commitments of the actors on the issues of its rational development (followed by a set of questions and answers), land use, causes and management of erosion in the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River basins, proposal for the choice of appropriate sites to relocate the inhabitants in inappropriate sites (high risk sites).

Participants during the workshop

In terms of results, this workshop identified two factors that increase the risks of erosion, landslides and even land subsidence in the city of Bukavu: natural factors and antrhopogenic factors (human factors). Several other factors that have aggravated the phenomena of erosion and landslides were also reported during this workshop, including the chaotic implantation of dwellings on steep and unstable areas - the multiplication of paths that favor the torrential flow of tropical downpours in poor conditions - unplanned urban agriculture, with unsustainable practices with regard to soil erosion - the degradation of roads, drains and gutters, the canalization of main watercourses, and the water supply network.

Participants of the workshop

The workshop was a key awareness-raising exercise on the exponential growth of the demographic pressure in Bukavu, which is related to the satisfaction of basic human needs, increasing challenges related to urbanization, and explosive demographic growth reinforced by the rural exodus. The current anarchic constructions and the uncontrolled urbanization increase the city’s vulnerability to natural disasters.

To address these challenges, specific policies are needed to address managing exponential population growth, the scarcity of locally available resources, the development of channels carrying waste (solid or liquid), creating jobs, and increasing scientific knowledge and other stakeholder capacity in the theme of of sustainable development.

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Cecilia Vey

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