In 2022, Nyamagabe District, Rwanda, was selected as a grantee of the Global Cities Fund for Migrants and Refugees (GCF), the MMC’s instrument to channel international funding directly to cities to implement inclusive projects of their own design.
With support from the GCF, Nyamagabe District is employing refugees alongside receiving community members to convert waste from Kigeme refugee camp into renewable energy for the nearby town, reducing deforestation, establishing smart agriculture, creating green jobs, and building social cohesion.
Livelihood opportunities in agriculture, plot-servicing, and green energy production are improving the communities’ shared living conditions, strengthening food security, expanding housing options, and reducing risk exposure to natural hazards.
The lives and livelihoods of people in Nyamagabe and the Kigeme refugee camp are severely impacted by floods, landslides and droughts caused or worsened by climate change.
With a view to building community resilience and adaptive capacity, Nyamagabe District, in collaboration with the UN Refugee Agency UNHCR, is terracing hillsides prone to landslides into viable agricultural areas, converting waste from the District and Kigeme refugee camp into renewable energy, and providing basic infrastructure and utilities for additional residential plots.
In partnership with UNCHR Rwanda, Nyamagabe District is creating livelihood opportunities in climate smart agriculture, waste management, green energy production, and sustainable urban development for both refugees and receiving communities.
Community members have constructed 50 hectares of radical and progressive terraces while training and employing community members on climate-smart agriculture, establishing the terraces will improve food security, stabilize flood-prone mountainsides, and protect Mushishito Marshland.
The project has introduced a campaign to improve waste management practices in Kigeme refugee camp and the surrounding district. The district has distributed communal waste bins and held workshops on waste management, composting, and energy saving practices. Nyamagabe District is also purchasing a briquette drying machine to convert household compost into clean kitchen fuel, eliminating the need to import briquettes from Kigali while strengthening the local energy market.
To accommodate a growing population, the district has identified land to establish housing plots serviced with electrical lines and water and road networks. The project employs refugees and receiving community members to carry out the work, paving the way for future urban expansion.
Through multiple and varied community participation and employment opportunities, the project also encourages positive interaction between refugees and receiving communities, increasing social cohesion.
Hildebrand Niyomwungeri, Mayor of Nyamagabe District, Rwanda
The helping hand of the GCF will create jobs for our displaced neighbors, convert waste into greener energy…and build vital kinship between Nyamagabe’s refugee camp and its wider community.
Midway through their project, Nyamagabe District has trained and employed 280 refugees and Rwandans as casual laborers to terrace 50 hectares of land. The district has also trained over 200 clients on sorting and processing waste and demarcated land for future urban development.
The district’s ambitious project brings together refugees and receiving community members to shape a sustainable and mutually reinforcing future.