Erosion: Bamboo barriers

Thousands of bamboo plants have been planted across Rwanda to combat erosion and protect the country’s rivers and wetlands. Hundreds of kilometres of bamboo barriers have sprung up along the Nyabarongo River in the south, and around the Rugezi Marsh in the north. The efforts, undertaken by local NGOs and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority in the north and south respectively, are starting to deliver results. The bamboo plants form a physical barrier, containing the bodies of water and protecting surrounding areas. Bamboo also absorbs more carbon – and therefore produces more oxygen – than broad-leaved trees, and is highly efficient at removing nitrogen from  the environment (up to 99% absorption,  compared with an average of 4 to 6% for other plants).

The Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) is a joint international institution of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States and the European Union (EU). CTA operates under the framework of the Cotonou Agreement and is funded by the EU.