Water from mining sites in the Southern Province continues to pollute Nyabarongo River ,the country’s pristine soil and causing disease.Those who see Nyabarongo River in Muhanga, Ngororero and Kamonyi regions see that its water should normally have a blue or white color, now it looks cloudy which means it is polluted.
The river’s water that crosses the Nyabarongo basin is over an area of 3000 square kilometers, it covers eight (8) districts namely Muhanga, Ngororero, Karongi, Nyanza, Ruhango, Huye, Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe, some places are apparently contaminated .
The infection deprives the country of the good soil that has been washed away by the erosion of the river, and its infection has the effect of causing diseases of snakes and other diseases including cancer in water users, such as the researcher Dr Damascene Gashumba, announced on October 16, 2021, when the Democratic Party for Environmental Protection (DGPR) in Umobeke published a study on the nature of pollutants and pollutants in the Nile and Nyabarongo River.
The study shows that among the main pollutants of the river are household waste which is the first polluter in Nyabarongo with a rate of 47.8%, agriculture which does not fight against erosion with a rate of 24.4%. and industry with a rate of 17.8%, while mining runoff pollutes and damages the river by more than 10%.
The administration of the South Province shows that mining contributes to the pollution of Nyabarongo, however the Prime Minister’s Order determines the nature and function of the Committee responsible for analyzing the permit application and issues related to mining. mining and quarrying N°079/ 03. of 26/07/2019, in the second article, determines what should be focused on, in particular that services for the protection of the environment and the well-being of people , such as damage repair, replanting, mine waste and wastewater management, pit cleaning and sanitation and mine tailings management.
Provincial Governor Kayitesi Alice says these activities are also contaminating the water at the Nyabarongo dam, so something needs to be done.
He said: “Urgently we are starting to make efforts to cut weeds and plant bamboo to see if it will yield anything. The miners should make more holes to transfer the water so that we can protect the dam that won’t close.”
Kayitesi also says that the cooperation between Ngororero and Muhanga districts is going to be improved as this is where the mining that destroys the dam is carried out in order to improve the mining laws where the water is. collected.
Inspector at the Mines, Petroleum and Gas (RMB) Agency, Bagirijabo Jean d’Amour, said at the time that there are four companies drilling near the dam and they have discussed with their leaders to prevent water from flowing into Nyabarongo.
He says there are already penalties for illegal mining that harms the environment, and they are going to tighten controls to prevent the problem, because otherwise, if you have a license to dig, you have to prevent the soil does not sink into rivers.
Deep News visited the mines of NT Mining Company operating in Rukoma sector in Muhanga district, which has some of the pits dug for a long time some locals say pollute the water of the Nyabarongo River.
Hashimwe Janvier, an environmental worker at the company says they take the water they use, plant trees where they have finished using
He says, “It’s definitely a problem. As an environmentalist, we see that there is sand that can break and go into the [Nyabarongo] river, that is a problem, but we are also trying the possible route, and we can take this sand and place take it to a better place.
He went on to say that they would find a way to solve the problem, by digging anti-erosion dams to catch water and reduce pollutants in the river.
In order to deal with the pollution problem of Nyabarongo, different agencies have come together in the community to protect the river, which took place in its periphery with anti-erosion digging at the end of 2023.
At this time, the Minister of Local Government Gatabazi Jean Marie Vianney said that they would continue to strive to improve the way in which mining activities polluting the Nyabarongo River are corrected.