Rwanda’s 4th National Park.
Rwanda is officially known for its four National parks that include volcanoes National park, Nyungwe National Park, Akagera National Park and Lake Kivu. In 2015 the law was approved by the Rwandan government to start a new national park that syndicates the two forest of Gishwati and Makura forest.
On 1st February 2016, the law was contracted to establish the national park and its boundaries. The newly National Park Gishwati-Mukura forest is located in Rubuvu, Rutsiro, Ngororero and Nyabihu Districts of the western part of Rwanda.
Gishwati-mukura National Park is afforested area scattering up from the north of the country near to the volcanoes National park downstairs joining Gishwati forest that shelters an area of 1439.72 hectares and Makura forest that also shelters 1987.74 hectares hence making a total surface of 992.48 hectares.
In the distant north of Rwanda, Gishwati-mukura forest had a thriving eco-system that was widening from the north in the volcanoes national park, succeeding the devastating genocide incident in 1994, big number of people that had left the country run back from across the borders and begun to settle and inhabit the land together with these forested Ares. These people begun to carry out human activities such as animal grazing, tree cutting increased, and unlawful mining among other intimidation. The forests were therefore exhausted due great settlement of people in these forested areas.
Later alone in 2007, an American researcher walked in with an intention of preserving small population of less than 29 chimpanzees that had prospered to live in this dwindling forest. With the support of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) in conjunction with Landscape Approach to Forest Restoration and conservation (LAFREC) worked so hard to re-establish and preserve the environmental and economic benefits of these forest.
Among the activities that have been re-established to preserve these forests include rehabilitating natural forest and improving land management in the agricultural lands and also making known the various methods methods of silvo pastoralism in the central Gishwati reserve.
Gishwati-mukura Park is popular because of its flora and fauna. This preserved area offers an unbelievable diversity hence providing passage for free movement of these primates such as chimpanzees, white and black colobus monkeys, golden monkeys, blue monkeys, L Hoest monkeys and other different species of mammals. The park has also around 60 species of trees that includes hard wood and bamboo.
The advancement of Gishwati-mukura forest to the position of the national park will significantly contribute to the source of revenue of people living around the park and REMA will ensure that the remaining part of the forest is fully protected as noted by the Director General of REMA.
This is tremendously exhilarating news for Rwanda government and the people of Rwanda, as it expresses the readiness of the government to help stabilize and guard the largely useful areas in Rwanda. Therefore people of Rwanda should keep positive for few couple of years, the national park will bring the desirable resources such as jobs, new developments and more income to ensure continued preservation of the national park.
People around Makura – Gishwati National Park will pleasingly welcome the institution of the national park in the region as they promise to build good relationship with all visitors.