- SOIL AND WATER MANAGEMENT
GCI Rwanda uses and promotes terracing as best management practice for controlling erosion and protecting water quality.
In Rwanda, radical terraces are principally designed (1) to reduce soil losses through
enhanced retention and infiltration of runoff, (2) to promote permanent agriculture on
steep slopes and (3) to promote land consolidation and intensive land use.
Newly established radical terraces should be protected at their risers and outlets,
especially in the first or second year of the establishment. After establishing a terrace,
a riser is shaped and grasses or shrubs/trees are planted soon after. Napier grass is
commonly planted and is used as forage for livestock. Risers on radical terraces are
seen as a new production niche of forage as a result of land shortage and a strict zero
GCI Rwanda develop project on practical demonstrations so that communities should have the basic skills and knowledge for change. The project intends to build the capacity of local communities on Drip irrigation system for demonstration on water use efficiency in semi-arid area.
A majority of Rwandan population especially in Eastern districts relies on natural resources to supply their basic needs; they particularly count on biomass as main source of fuel. Consequently, it has led to low vegetation cover and soil erosion, and therefore reducing agricultural productivity. The failure of the local community to follow the Government’s zero grazing policy due to the insufficiency of fodder grasses resulted in overgrazing. Moreover, the lack of the necessary skills and assets to diversify farming techniques and activities has challenged poor households to build resilience to climate change. Additionally, the water instability in Eastern districts limits the investment needed to improve soil conditions and agricultural productivity; these lock households into poverty trap and persistent food insecurity.