Rwanda: Govt Completes Construction of River Sebeya Flood Retention Dam

The Rwanda Water Resources Board on Monday, July 10 announced the completion of a flood retention dam designed to contain the floods caused by River Sebeya.

Located in Kanama sector, Rubavu district, the dam aims to alleviate the devastating impact of recent floods that resulted in the destruction of 5,963 houses and displaced 20,326 people.

“The primary objective of the dam is to retain a portion of the floodwater and release it at a controlled flow rate. This measure is set to mitigate the flood hazards affecting the Mahoko Center and neighboring households along the Sebeya River,” the water resources board revealed in a statement.

Construction of two dams along the Sebeya River commenced in 2021 as authorities sought a long-term solution to persistent flooding, which has consistently disrupted livelihoods and businesses in the western province.

A budget of at least Rwf7.5 billion was allocated for the construction of the flood containment dams. The floods originate from the Sebeya River catchments in the districts of Rubavu, Rutsiro, Nyabihu, and Ngororero.

While the Sebeya River serves as a vital source of water for irrigation, drinking, and hydro-electric power generation, its overflow has had adverse effects on hydropower facilities and water treatment plants.

Environmental and climate change experts are urging an investigation into deforestation, land degradation, and mining activities that have contributed to increased soil erosion and flooding, leaving communities surrounding Lake Kivu vulnerable in the Western province of Rwanda.