Biruta urges Burundi, DRC to clear water resources management arrears

The second meeting of the Council of Ministers of Environment from DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi has asked members to accelerate the payment of contribution arrears so as to be able to establish a permanent authority for managing, monitoring and regulating water resources exploitation in Kivu Lake and Rusizi River shared by the three countries.
The process to establish the Lake Kivu and River Rusizi Authority started in 2011 under regional cooperation framework but the body is still working under transitional structure.
The two water bodies are shared by the three regional countries.
Officials at the Thursday meeting in Kigali said the functioning of transitional structure has been moving slowly due to financial constraints and therefore clearing arrears and legal processes to ratify to the related convention would help accelerate the move.
We have resolved that countries are going to accelerate the payment of contribution arrears and then put in place the way to sustainably exploit the potential of the shared water resources by protecting the water bodies,” he said.
The authority The Lake Kivu and River Rusizi Authority is expected to ensure quality of the water resources, avoid its depletion or reduction, and monitor activities on Lake Kivu and Rusizi River (exploitation of hydro-electricity, gas and petroleum and fishing).
Biruta assured of the willingness of Rwanda to pay its contributions and ratify the convention.
Burundian officials did not attend.
The recommendations added that the Lake Kivu and River Rusizi Authority has to elaborate a plan of action which will be executed after payment of contributions is completed.
Remy Mugunga, one of the technical advisors at the Lake Kivu and River Rusizi Authority, said the initiative of setting up the authority is part of Economic Community Great Lakes Region that had recommended generation of revenue from shared natural resources and to support such projects to become sustainable.

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