The Vulnerable Ecosystem Recovery towards Climate Change Resilience Program (VERP) started in 2014 and will be closing in March 2018. The project followed the end of other two phases of project which is Decentralized Environmental Management Project (DEMP), and sought primarily to build on its successes in order to consolidate the achievements within the project area and scale-up some of the success initiatives to other areas. VERP Program was implemented through the National Execution (NEX) process by Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA). The project received funds from FONERWA. The project had a budget of Frw 3,724,188,800. Its expected execution period was five years. The project interventions include Burera (Rugarama,Rusarabuye,Gitovu,Ruhunde, Kivuye and Rwerere Sectors), Musanze (Gashaki,Remera and Gacaca Sectors), Bugesera (Mayange,Musenyi,Rweru and Ngeruka Sectors) and Rusizi (Bugarama,Nzahaha,Rwimbogo and Muganza Sectors) Districts.
The Project focused on three key objectives;
The expected outcome of the program stated as follows:
Conservation and management of natural resources strengthened and sustained mainly in Burera ‐ Ruhando and Cyohoha lakes as well as in Bugarama’s wetland.
VERP program had various achievements as elaborated in chapter three of this report, below is a summary of its planned outputs vis-à-vis its achievements;
Output 1: Degraded fragile ecosystem rehabilitated;
Rehabilitation of critical ecosystem of Burera, Ruhondo lakes in North and Cyohoha lake in Eastern part of the country. The program has also focused on Bugarama wetland rehabilitation by restoring its catchment including riverbanks and watersheds. Different ecosystem rehabilitated includes:
Output 2: Livelihood of community beneficiaries diversified
The program has supported community’s beneficiaries to build resilience to the effect of climate change through:
The program has supported more than 2,000 community’s beneficiaries through various domain including agriculture, livestock and small factory and transport. The project has also created 9,377 green jobs through green components construction and radical terraces construction.
Output 3: Knowledge management on ecosystem rehabilitation diversified;
Capacity building through trainings and workshops 411 community beneficiaries on livestock management, cooperative management and improved agriculture best practices in the project interventions was enhanced through;
The project activity performance is 89% and the execution of the project budget was well performed in comparison to the planned budget and disbursement. The committed funds are achieved at 85% up to the end of December 2017.
Key Project results
Community capacity to take care of infrastructure provided (land management) which is still at low level: The project provides full support for many marshland and hillside development initiatives, post-harvest infrastructure development as well as provision of cows, cowshed, seeds and fertilizer. According to community members, the contribution of community is meager, such as sowing of grass seeds or tree plantation. Factoring a clear role for the community in execution of the activities as well as their management is essential to help the community understand the importance of the resources that they are using and to ‘own’ the interventions. With the progress of the programme (especially when it has more resources in the beginning), it is important to inculcate the habit of savings and of an active role in contributing to and maintaining the created infrastructure. This will improve the sustainability of the efforts and impart self-reliance.
All community members have SACCO accounts but very few have accessed loans and many are withdrawing most of their wages from the account (thus keeping a very low balance), long distances to be travelled to reach the facility and the limited capacity to get loans.
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