Landlocked between Tanzania, Burundi, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda has the highest population density in Africa. Rwanda currently has a population of over 11 million that is growing at an estimated rate of 2.82 per cent per year (CIA, 2010). The country’s climate is tropical, and its terrain is characterized by rolling hills and grasslands, with volcanic areas in the northwest (USDS, 2010). Roughly 91 per cent of Rwandans rely on subsistence agriculture for their livelihoods, which has contributed to significant soil erosion in the country (EC, 2009; MLEFWM, 2005; USDS, 2010). The country’s dependence on biomass for the majority of its energy has further contributed to ecological degradation (EC, 2009). The country has a small industrial base and few natural resources, and its high price of electricity has stifled diversification of the economy (USDS, 2010). The settlement of environmental problems in Rwanda arising from climate change and the variability of climate necessitates more than elsewhere the integration of social and economic dimensions in the process of analysis and evaluation for the most appropriate adaptation. The adaptation activities include, the project to increase food and medicine modes of distribution to respond to extreme climate change and sensitize to stocking and conservation of agriculture products and the preparation and implementation of woody combustible substitution national strategy to combat the deforestation and erosion as well.

  • National Communication (NC)

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    Key Vulnerabilities
    • Agriculture/Food Security
    • Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems
    • Water Resources
    Potential Adaptation Measures

    Agriculture/Food Security

    • Improvement of soil conservation techniques particularly in highlands (Northwest of Rwanda and zones of Congo-Nile Ridge) and introduction of agro forestry practices.
    • Introduction of new improved crop varieties particularly early-fruiting, resistant and adapted to climate (for example climbing beans in highlands, sweet potato, rice, Irish potato, sorghum and maize)

    Food security and land and freshwater ecosystems

    • Extension between researcher (ISAR) and farmer, use of fertilisers; use of improved agricultural and animal husbandry technologies (for example irrigated crops and livestock stalling); construction of valley-dams.
    • Assistance to poor people;
    • Construction of storehouses for foodstuff;
    • Processing and conservation of farm produces;
    • Formulation of land management plan

    For human settlements and industrial plants, proposed measures are:

    • To plan human settlements, industrial plants and related infrastructures by the use of master plans;
    • To plan and implement allocation plans of clustered villages-imidugudu in rural areas;
    • To provide the population and local authorities with capacity to set up anti-erosion works (anti-erosion ditches and radical terraces) and plant trees where forest plantations have been cut;
    • To first identify very fragile (critical) zones and build breast-walls to protect roads;
    • To stabilise streams running across towns and city and build protecting walls on both riverbanks where required;
    • To develop laws prohibiting human settlements in fragile zones and quarters.

    For energy sector, the following adaptation measures are considered:

    • To invest more in energy generation infrastructures by building other hydropower stations. Potentials exist on river Nyabarongo (Bulinga, 28MW), on rivers of Rusizi and Akagera and on small streams where micro-hydropower stations can be built;
    • To promote new and renewable energies;
    • To control erosion on hillsides around lakes Bulera and Ruhondo to prevent sedimentation, which would, on the long run, lead to their death whereas they stand for compensating reservoirs for Ntaruka and Mukungwa hydropower stations.

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  • National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPA)

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    National adaptation programmes of action (NAPAs) provide a process for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) to identify priority activities that respond to their urgent and immediate needs to adapt to climate change – those for which further delay would increase vulnerability and/or costs at a later stage. The following summarizes the NAPA for Rwanda.

    June 23, 2009