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Towards the classification of the Kibimbi-Inanzerwe mountain ranges among protected areas


Jan 8, 2024

CANKUZO, January 8th (ABP) – The Burundi Environmental Protection Authority (OBPE) plans to classify, among its projects, the mountain ranges of Kibimbi-Inanzerwe, the Director General of that Authority Office, Mr. Berchmans Hatungimana, told a check by ABP in an interview.

The Director General of OBPE indicated that work to delimit and demarcate protected areas has already begun after local residents attempted to damage those areas, and that activities incompatible with nature conservation were carried out there.

These activities began in the south of the country, precisely in the protected areas of Makamba and Rumonge provinces, said Mr. Hatungimana, while specifying that they will continue with the Rusizi national park and part of the Kibira national park. These activities will be extended to all protected areas of the country.

In its agenda, the OBPE intends to classify the mountain ranges of Kibimbi-Inanzerwe among protected areas, according to Mr. Hatungimana, who indicates that this is in the context of increasing the number of protected areas in Burundi. He noted that the related activities are at a satisfactory pace and that they will then proceed to the stage of preparing the decree establishing its delimitation.

Protection, surveillance and control activities continue to avoid possible activities that could disrupt environmental wealth.

  View of the buffalos of Ruvubu National Park

Despite those efforts, the head of the OBPE deplores that the local people undertake projects in the 1000-meter no man’s land while it serves as rest and browsing for animals. The same area provides shelter in the event of poaching.

Wild animals often damage crop fields in this area, the Director General of OBPE continue to deplore, pointing out that the same case is observed in Kigamba commune where buffalos have already grazed more than 10 hectares of maize fields. The same case is talked about on the coast of Lake Tanganyika and in the Rusizi National Park where hippos threaten the people, according to the Director General of OBPE.

To avoid the wandering of animals, the OBPE intends to fence the parks and other protected areas, he announced, explaining that initially, the activities will be carried out in the Ruvubu national park where they will focus on the frequent outing areas of those buffalos, given that activities of this kind extend over a long period.

The exploitation of forest products and tourism brings approximately two billion Burundi francs into the public treasury each year, reported the director of OBPE, who declared that he remains dissatisfied with this amount. He said that this institution will carry out developments at tourist sites in order to make them more attractive to tourists. The sites to be developed include those of Rusizi, those of the natural monuments of the East, the northern lakes, etc., for the increase in revenue. Burundi now has 16 protected areas, the Director General of OBPE has revealed.