Decentralization and Environment Management Project (DEMP) Phase II

What is the project about

This project summarises the proposal for a second phase of the Decentralisation and Environmental Management Project (DEMP), to be implemented over the period of 5 years (2008-2013). The project herein referred to as DEMP II, follows the end of phase I, and seeks primarily to build on the successes of the just ended phase in order to consolidate the achievements within the project area and scale-up some of the success initiatives to other areas:

  1. Proposed investments would focus on three key areas: Capacity development of Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) / Rwanda Environment Management Autority (REMA) to undertake environmental policy coordination and monitoring
    and the Districts to be able to integrate environment with development through the district planning ,budgeting process and project implementation;
  2. DISTRICTS to undertake collaborative planning and management of environment and natural resources of Lake Kivu, associated river basins, islands, marginal and fragile ecosystems Scaling up environmental protection investments, community based resource management capabilities and strengthening advocacy and social resilience around natural resources management is critical;
  3. Implement viable environmental practices as well as promote sustainable livelihoods using decentralization as a delivery mechanism.

The ultimate aim is to contribute to poverty reduction and economic development through sustainable use and management of natural resources. Districts through the proposed initiatives should have the capacity to plan, manage and ultimately benefit from environmentally sound development activities.


DEMP   contributed to improve productivity and sustainability of key sectors including land, water resources management and agriculture in all Districts of Western Province, in one Northern Province and City of Kigali and 6 Districts in Eastern Province. The project supplied safe and clean water in Eastern Province and the population is now enjoying access to clean and safe water but also the creation of green jobs which contribute to its income.  Here below some of the project’s achievements:

  • Ecosystem rehabilitated  to maintain the biological diversity;
  • Water harvesting;
  • Tree planting ;
  • Green Job created ;
  • Lake shore and river  banks protected;
  • Watershed protected;
  • Adequate sustained capacity for effective environmental governance and decentralized service delivery.
  • Water supply

Rwanda depends heavily on environment and natural resources. Over 90% of the population directly or indirectly depends on the products and services from agriculture, fisheries, forests, wetlands etc. Natural resources account for 85 % of export earnings and more than 80% of the workforce is active in agriculture. The country is subject to several environment-related worrying trends which put economic, environmental and social development at risk. These include soil degradation, deforestation, drainage of wetlands, and loss of biodiversity, pollution and unsanitary conditions. Many of the problems are associated with poor management of environment and natural resources. The DEMP II was thus, inspired by the fact that local communities are more motivated to protect and sustainably use natural resources if they are directly involved in the planning and decision making process. For local governments, strengthening environmental management capacity is important since environmental sustainability contributes to widening and increasing local revenue base, a key aspect of Rwanda’s decentralization process. The ecosystem restoration and protection is one of key priority for Environment and Natural Resources Sector in order to achieve EDPRS objective and Vision 2020 in Rwanda. DEMP II was timely, well planned and implemented to mitigate the lakes shores, rivers banks and watershed in Western and Eastern Province of Rwanda. The ultimate goal of the project was to promote sustainable, equitable livelihoods i.e. natural resources are utilized for poverty reduction and economic transformation in a manner that does not degrade them.

With UNDP support the project has had achieved tangible results which   are not doubtable. The project awareness raising activities address environmental awareness issues with a focus on land protection and watershed management. Many of the implemented activities provided opportunities for environmental protection and income generation for the local communities in rural area. DEMPII has created more than 100,000 temporary jobs for poor women and men out of whom 56.6% were men and 43.4% were women. The workers’ salaries were channelled through their accounts opened in Savings and Credits Cooperatives. Among other achievements of the UNDP project to name the few include: more 1000 ha restored,   a big number of cooperative’s members trained in environmental and cooperatives management, supplied 35 rain water harvesting tanks and its accessories in Bitenga resettlement where have been relocated people from Gishwati forest, the construction of houses located in ‘’Karukogo’’ resettlement in Rubavu District for the poor people moved from the a place which was prone to flood.

 Furthermore other outstanding achievements which speak for themself  especially  in Ecosystem Rehabilitation focusing on protection/rehabilitation of lakeshores, river banks and watersheds for selected lakes and rivers,  include:  protection of Muhazi lakeshores (93.8% of target achieved); Mugesera lakeshores (45 % of target achieved); rehabilitation of Lake Kivu watersheds (110 % of target achieved) and Lake Kivu tributaries (266% of target achieved).

Issues and challenges

  1. Ecosystem degradation such as steep landscapes that exacerbate soil and fertility losses, land and water management including floods all of which hamper productivity and agricultural production in particular;Water pollution;
  2. High expectation from the districts;
  3. Lack of proper planning;
  4. Population pressure on land;
  5. Loss of biodiversity;
  6. Deforestation


 DEMP contributed to improve productivity and sustainability of key sectors including land  management , water resources  management and agriculture  in all Districts  of  Western Province , one in Northern Province and City of Kigali and  6 Districts in Eastern Province. The project  supplied safe water as population is now enjoying  access to clean and safe water but also  the creation of green jobs  which earns  an  income and alternative livelihoods for communities and individuals

  • Ecosystem rehabilitated  to maintain the biological diversity;
  • Water harvesting;
  • Tree planting ;
  • Green Job created ;
  • Lake shore and river  banks protected;
  • Watershed protected;
  • Adequate sustained capacity for effective environmental governance and decentralized service delivery.
  • House construction for poor families.

Who finances it

Donor name Contribution amount
UNDP Trac USD 500,000
GoR USD 403,000



USD 1,002,415.05
USD    671,414.67
USD    784,460.60
USD      97,323.64

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