Inland Lakes Integrated Development and Management Support Project (PAIGELAC) in Rwanda
Since 2006 the African Development Bank has been supporting the Rwanda government in restoring and improving the Rwandan fisheries sector. Support has been given to both capture fisheries in inland lakes and to aquaculture.
The project’s name is the Inland Lakes Integrated Development and Management Support Project, or PAIGELAC.
Fisheries in Rwandan lakes are supported through the provision of fisheries infrastructures (cold storage, ice making machines at selected sites, drying racks, smoking ovens, etc.), reducing post-harvest losses and increasing the value of the fish landed.
Besides the infrastructures, fishers were also trained in fisheries management, and improved fishing techniques. Fifteen inland lakes were stocked with tilapia fingerlings, to enhance the production of these lakes. At the moment the fishery infrastructures are being commissioned, and will be managed by local cooperatives using the management plans developed during the project. The performance of the cooperatives will be reviewed in due time, and if needed the sites might be privatized.
Apart from infrastructure construction, erosion from the hills around the lakes has been prevented through the construction of 498 ha (radical) and 4 956 ha (progressive) terraces. Also 1,624 ha of terraces were re-forested. These terraces not only reduced the hill erosion, but also increased the arable land, with a resultant rise in agriculture production. Erosion caused an increase in turbidity of the lake waters and reduction of primary production, with obvious negative impacts on the total fishery production.
To ensure sustainability of the fisheries in the lakes, the responsible cooperatives have been working together with the project in developing a management plan for each lake. The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization has been aiding the project and its beneficiaries with improving the fishery information system, so that management decisions can be taken based on robust information.
The situation of the project in December 2011:
|Log Frame Indicators||December 2011||End target|
|Fish production||13 000||17 400|
|Related animals production||3 297||1000 ton/year|
|Fishers/aquaculturists trained||5944||1 200|
|Input suppliers trained||0||50|
|Administration officials trained||16||8|
|Technical personnel assigned to the project by MINAGRI trained||127||28|
|Fishery guards assigned to the project trained||22||17|
|Professional associations formed||247||500|
|Professional unions, federations formed||6||50|
|Management plans of lakes drafted and approved||17||17|
|Management and surveillance committees formed||22||30|
|Area of water bodies stocked||15 380||23 680 ha|
|Watershed protection||7 078||11 700 ha|
|Rehabilitation of feeder roads||10.5||14.5km|
|Water hyacinth mechanical control||4||17 lakes|
|Fry rearing centres rehabilitated||5||5 centres|
In total, 147 cooperatives are engaged in pond aquaculture, managing a total surface area of 195 ha of rehabilitated ponds, while 43 cooperatives are engaged in tilapia farming in 385 cages on the lakes. These cooperatives were supported through the previously mentioned construction/rehabilitation of ponds, construction of aquaculture cages, provision of fingerlings, feed and technical assistance. Through this support, the sector, which was destroyed during the 90’s, is being rehabilitated.
Two culturing techniques are being used: integrated pond culture (fish with rabbits for instance) or cage culture in lakes. During the project, there happened to be only low levels of the low level of feed available, so the project decided to import high quality extruded feeds, and to invite Vietnamese experts to assist with the formulation and preparation of these feeds. Several feed mixers and pelleters were acquired, and provided to cooperatives. As practical technical experience with respect to fish farm management was lost, several experienced fish farm technicians were invited to assist cooperatives with the production of their fish, showing the profitability of the operations.
The project has constructed 27 fish landing sites, two regional, and one urban fish trading center, rehabilitated the Kigembe Aquaculture center, imported 160 tons of high quality feed, and assisted 17 cooperatives with the formulation of a lake management plan.
The project aims to have reached by December 2012 the ultimate objective of an increase of the fisheries sector production to 17 400 tons per year.