As part of its annual activities, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) with support from IGCP conducted park cleaning of the Volcanoes National park. Park cleaning that kicked off mid Jan – 24th Feb 2016 was carried out by 60 members (ex-poachers) of Kaiki Cooperative. The objectives of this year’s park cleaning included; to identify, remove and destroy isolated evasive exotic plants and to clean solid rubbish left behind from tourism activities and the Karisimbi project, (Karisimbi project manages the communication antenna in the Volcanoes national park).
According to Fidele Mzeimana, a Monitoring Officer with RDB and In-Charge of park cleaning, about 230kgs of solid waste which includes metals, plastic bags and Saladins have been collected and disposed, while another 170kgs of Solanum anguivii fruits have been cut and destroyed. Fidele adds that, “compared to last year, the amount of rubbish collected and evasive exotic plants cut have been less. This is a good sign that continuous park cleaning if done will secure a safe habitat for the wildlife in the Volcanoes”.
Between 2011 – 2015 over 13000 tons of trash and fruits of exotic and invasive plants removed from the Virunga Massif through transboundary park cleaning.
RDB uses/involves the local community (Kaiki Cooperative) in conservation related activities as a way of creating income for the community and strengthening the existing collaboration between the Park and adjacent communities.