By Xinhua writers Lyu Tianran, Zhang Gaiping
and Frank Kanyesigye.
KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
In July when the dry season
dominates Rwanda, clouds of dirt billow from parched roads in
the Kaduha village in the country’s northeastern part when cars
On one side of
the road, fresh water in an irrigation canal is flowing
through a rice field that stretches beyond sight.
China Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC), the 30-km-long
canal brings water from a CGC-built irrigation dam into
the farm, supplying water for 925 hectares of farm in
Eastern Province throughout the year, even during the dry
As part of the
Rwandan government’s Rural Sector Support Project funded
by the World Bank, the construction works are aimed at
improving agricultural production and could benefit over
1,500 farmers, said Jean de Dieu Mugiraneza, an engineer
of the project.
works were completed in 2016, farmers could not plant rice
here as there was no irrigation system and only in areas
close to small rivers could water be accessed to cultivate
crops, Mugiraneza said.
planted rain-fed crops including potato, banana and maize
by rivers, he said, adding that the rivers had little
water during the dry season, increasing difficulties for
With the works
conducted by the CGC, the area now has sufficient water
EASTERN PROVINCE, (Xinhua)
-- Jean de Dieu Mugiraneza, an engineer
of Rwandan government’s Rural Sector Support Project,
receives an interview on a dam built by China
Geo-Engineering Corporation (CGC) in Nyagatare District,
Eastern Province, Rwanda, July 13, 2018.
“In the past, the
production is not good and the crops were used for
self-consumption. But now farmers have good production of rice
and get more benefits than before,” the engineer said.
Amuri Bizumutima was
one of the beneficiaries. “I grew a small quantity of beans and
maize. There was no water in the place where I grow rice now,”
recalled the 32-year-old farmer, who has four children, two of
whom are in school.
“We didn’t get
enough food in the past. We ate what we grew and didn’t have
surplus to sell,” said Bizumutima, who now grows rice in the
farm covering an area of 0.2 hectare.
“Now I have surplus
rice to sell and have better income. With the money earned from
selling rice, I can pay for my family’s food and school fees of
my children,” he said.
Agriculture plays an
important role in Rwanda’s economy, accounting for 33 percent of
Rwanda’s gross domestic product and engages 70 percent of the
population, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations.
and irrigation is vital to agricultural transformation and food
security, said Rwandan political analyst Ladislas Ngendahimana,
adding that the irrigation scheme is part of the Rwandan
government’s program to lift people out of extreme poverty and
strive for economic prosperity.
have played a vital role in enabling Rwandan farmers to increase
agricultural productivity and household incomes,” Ngendahimana
China and Rwanda
established diplomatic ties in 1971. China has since been a key
trading partner, important source of investment and major
development partner of Rwanda, according to the Chinese Embassy
Since entering the
Rwandan market in 1999, the CGC has been running 13 irrigation
and water conservancy projects mainly in marshland development,
hillside irrigation and prevention of soil erosion.
The projects include
the 26-meter-high Muyanza Dam, the second highest dam in Rwanda
and the highest and largest earth-fill dam in the hilly country.
The CGC employs
highly skilled and veteran engineers from China to design and
implement projects for Rwanda, which also brings Chinese
technology and experience to Rwanda, said Zhu Xinghui, general
manager of CGC Central East Africa Branch.
Zhu said that the
CGC, as an enterprise, has to consider economic benefits when
implementing projects, but when owners of Rwandan projects
experience financial difficulties, it continues delivering
projects to support the country.
Zhu, who has been
working in Rwanda since 2005, has witnessed the development of
Rwanda’s agricultural sector over the decade.
The country has
carried out many effective agricultural projects, which benefit
more and more Rwandan people and increase food production, he
in Rwanda is a job for me, but our projects provide farmers with
farmland that can be cultivated for generations,” he said.