Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River are situated in East Central Africa and both lie on the border of its riparian countries: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), Rwanda and Burundi.
They are very important for biodiversity and provide many ecosystem services: drinking water, irrigation water, fishing, pollination, soil fertility, erosion control, and the carbon sequestering or provision of non-timber forest products. These landscapes are currently facing 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 and some are already happening in the basin.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) has been commissioned by the 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.
Taking into consideration the manifold challenges the Lake Kivu and Ruzizi River Basin is facing – relating to the unsustainable use of water and related resources and the lack of integrated management of these resources across sectors, leading to negative impacts beyond the natural resources sector and affecting both socioeconomic development and regional cooperation opportunities – this project aims at improving the hydrological and operational management of Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi River.
It 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 countries, all based on a capacitated regional institution that is able to ensure the long-term sustainable and cooperative development of the basin’s resources, populations and countries.
It therewith contributes not only to sustainable development and regional stability in Central Africa, but also to the EU’s overall developmental and global commitments, namely SDGs 2, 6 and 7 as well as the EU’s Council Conclusions on Water Diplomacy. Furthermore, the project seeks to promote regional cooperation while considering its political and security situation.