Revenue sharing one of the keys of success of Rwanda’s conservation efforts

12 NEW CLASSROOMS FOR GATEBE PRIMARY SCHOOL FINANCED BY RDB REVENUE SHARE
(Posted 04th August 2016)

The Rwanda Development Board (RDB) earlier today officially launched twelve classrooms at Gatebe Primary School in Rwimiyaga, Nyagatare District in Eastern Rwanda. The school, which was built with funds from the Tourism Revenue Sharing Scheme that comes from 5% of the annual tourism park revenue, will benefit nearly 1.300 pupils.

While speaking at the launch, RDB’s Chief Tourism Officer Belise Kariza said: ‘The aim of the tourism revenue sharing scheme is to strengthen our community relationships and provide support in much needed areas. The communities surrounding the national parks are among our key partners in wildlife and biodiversity conservation and this is why they are the first beneficiaries of this revenue allocation. Through the construction of the classrooms at this school, we are optimistic that the lives of the children in this area will positively change by ensuring easy access to education facilities‘.

The Mayor of Nyagatare District, George Mupenzi commended the Government through RDB for supporting Gatebe Primary School as the students are comfortably studying in well-built classrooms, an improvement from before where some pupils were studying outside under trees. He said: ‘A major challenge in this village is access to education. The children of Gatebe no longer have to move a long distance to study; at least two hours were used previously for students to reach a nearby school but now it is only minutes away. This has been achieved because of good governance and good policies aiming at improving the well-being of Rwandans‘.

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Gatebe Primary School is among 41 schools funded through the Shared Tourism Revenue Scheme since it first started in 2005. A total of 480 initiatives have been funded by the scheme country-wide, including business centres, water facilities, health centres, cooperatives and more. Each initiative has helped to improve the livelihoods of the communities especially around the park areas. In addition, some of those who once threatened the parks are now the strongest advocates for conservation in their communities.

The launch of the 12 classrooms in Gatebe Primary School marks the beginning of activities leading up to the twelfth annual Kwita Izina, Rwanda’s gorilla naming ceremony.

Additional pre-Kwita Izina week activities will take place on the 12th of August and the 19th of August:

12th August: Official launch of 4 classrooms at Gisakura Primary School around Nyungwe National Park, in Bushekeri Sector, Nyamasheke District in Western Province. The project will enable 1328 children to easily access education facilities.

19th August: Official launch of Kanyove Primary School around Volcanoes National Park, in Mukamira Sector, Nyabihu District in Western Province. The project will enable 1280 children to easily access education facilities.

The naming ceremony of Kwita Izina 2016 will take place on 2nd September 2016 at the base of the Volcanoes National Park in Kinigi, Musanze District.

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