Kirehe Community- based Watershed Management Project

The Kirehe community-based Watershed management Project (KWAMP) operates in Kirehe District since 2009 as an agricultural investment project implemented by MINAGRI, originally co-financed by IFAD, WFP, DED and the Government of Rwanda. It became effective on 30th April 2009, and is due for completion in June 2016. Its overall objective is the development of sustainable profitable small-scale commercial agriculture in Kirehe District. The total cost of the project was estimated at USD 49.3 million. Today, as some financiers did not fulfil their commitment (WFP 8.13 million and DED 0.511 million), the total project cost now stands at 40.687 million. The current IFAD grant commitment amounts to USD 26.77 million. It operates in 18 watersheds of Kirehe district and aims at reaching 22 500 direct and 10 000 indirect beneficiaries.

Project goal and objectives

The development goal of the project is the reduction in rural poverty in Kirehe District, as evidenced primarily by a step improvement in household food and nutrition security, asset ownership and quality of life indicators, particularly amongst vulnerable groups including woman-headed households, orphans and those living with HIV/AIDS. The immediate objectives of the project converge on the development of sustainable profitable small-scale commercial agriculture in Kirehe District. Sustainable incremental income from farming and related economic activities is the operational instrument for poverty reduction among the poor majority in Kirehe. The project was intended to result in:

An increased level of marketed production of crops and livestock products, leading to increases in incomes derived from gains in productivity, farming efficiency and cash returns to effort;

The operation and maintenance of affordable irrigation facilities made available to a large proportion of the active poor and landless farmers in the District, reducing dependence on increasingly erratic rains and permitting a shift to higher value crops in response to market demand.

A steady improvement in the natural resource base in selected watersheds to enable production in the future, reversing the present negative trends of soil erosion and nutrient depletion coupled with failure to put available water to productive use.


Main cumulative achievements from April 2009 to July 2013

Component 1: Local institutional development

Sub-component 1.1: Support to agricultural transformation

i) Decentralized structures

The project created 8 posts to support the district and the staff are in place: Water management Officer, Natural Resource officer, Value Chain development Officer, Irrigation technician, Irrigation Engineer, Water Management field facilitator, Assistant Accountant, Procurement officer and the Biogaz technician. KWAMP staffs have been fully integrated in District structures. They are considered by communities as district staff and not KWAMP staff. This is a positive move which facilitates the mobilization of communities to implement KWAMP activities.

ii) Creation of Local Management and Supervision Committees (CLGS)

The project established 18 CLGS in all watersheds. Each watershed has a local committee CLGS and is composed by 9-13 members which are operational and trained to follow up the implementation of Watershed Management Plans (WM). CLGS members include representatives of the main interest groups involved in the watersheds. At least one monthly meeting and two quarterly field visits are done by CLGS. A watershed general assembly is chaired by the Vice Marge in charge of Economic and affairs of the district and held twice a year with the mission to evaluate the project achievements and to plan for the following period. Annually, CLGS elaborate a map showing the implementation progress. CLGS reports are centralized by the district officer in charge of Natural Resources Management. CLGS are involved on a voluntary basis in all project activities implemented at watershed level such as selection of beneficiaries, animal distribution, tendering, seedlings distribution, etc.

iii) Community Innovation Centres (CCIs)

3 Community Innovation Centres (CCI) were constructed, equipped and operational in Kigarama, Nyarubuye and Nasho sectors. CCIs are conceived to provide physical facilities that can serve as a central point for the dissemination and exchange of information, meetings for the coordination of watershed management and other development initiatives, and capacity development and learning activities. Their offices are also used by CLGS and KWAMP Zone sector specialists. CCIs are expected to accelerate social transformation and economic development in their respective locations. Currently, activities of CCIs include coaching of community organizations, organizing thematic public dialogues, IT outreach in community, community library services (mainly with booklets from CICA and RCA), and nutritional trainings (in partnership with health centers) among others. In partnership with RDB, all the 3 CCIs received IT equipment.

The integration of CCI activities and staff into RAB was effective from April 2012. This should ensure sustainability of CCIs interventions in communities. However, CCIs staff is still paid on KWAMP funds.