Norway Environment Minister and GGGI DG commend Rwanda Green Fund investments

Norway's Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Vidar Helgesen, has commended Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) investments during a recent visit to two ongoing projects. The Minister met with the teams from the Send a Cow Rwanda and Zero Carbon Designs investments. The Minister was accompanied by the Director General of the Global Green Growth Institute, Dr Frank Rijsberman.

Minister Helgesen first met with the team from Send a Cow Rwanda and was given a short presentation on the work of Rwanda's Green Fund by Coordinator Alex Mulisa. The Coordinator explained that the fund is the primary financing mechanism for Rwanda's sustainable development and vision to become a low carbon and climate resilient nation.

Angelique Barongo from Send a Cow delivered a presentation on how Send a Cow Rwanda is supporting families in the Eastern Province to build sustainable livelihoods. She explained the aspects of the project including the provision of clean energy through solar lamps and biogas. She also said that the project not only gives cows, but also supports families by training them in green agriculture.

The Minister and the Director General then travelled to Rwanda's Special Economic Zone to visit the STRAWTEC factory, which is part of the Zero Carbon Designs investment. They both received a tour of the factory and were explained the production process, which includes turning straw into sustainable building materials that can be used for walls, floors and ceilings with almost zero carbon footprint. The guests also toured demonstration houses which are being financed under the Green Fund investment. 

Speaking about the fund, Send a Cow Rwanda and STRAWTEC, Minister Helgesen said: "I am very impressed at the work being done to ensure Rwanda's development is sustainable."

The Minister and Director General were in Rwanda for the 28th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, at which the Kigali Amendment was passed. The amendment will avoid up to 0.5 degrees Celsius of global warming by the end of the century by phasing out potent green houses gases known as HFCs. Hosting the meeting was a demonstration of Rwanda's commitment to address climate change and sustainable development.

About the Send a Cow Rwanda investment

The Send a Cow investment works with communities to ensure the sustainable management of natural resources and environmental rehabilitation for poverty reduction. Working with 600 vulnerable households, Send a Cow is supporting Rwandans to tackle major environmental challenges including soil erosion, vital soil nutrient depletion, deforestation and unsustainable agricultural practices and energy sources. Coupled with expert training, households are receiving livestock as a source of animal protein and income as well as manure for composting and organic fertilizer. The manure from the cow is also being used to produce clean energy through use of biogas digesters. Vulnerable families have also been provided with solar lanterns. Fully charged, they will provide up to 30 hours of light as well as the capacity to charge mobile phones and other devices. The value of the investment is US $4 million.

About the STRAWTEC investment

Through Zero Carbon Designs, the fund is invested in STRAWTEC to develop flexible single and multi-storey housing solutions to supply low-carbon that can be pre-fabricated, mass-produced and constructed for a target cost of 250 USD per sqm. The housing solutions are demonstrating the optimum use of locally manufactured building material and will satisfy the low carbon demands of the National Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy, as well as the high-density requirements of the Kigali Master Plan. The innovative housing solutions are being showcased by way of demonstration buildings at their factory in the Special Economic Zone. The value of the investment in Zero Carbon Designs is approximately US $200,000.

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Norway Environment Minister and GGGI Director General visit Green Fund investments