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Umurage - a new equipped research boat to inspect and monitor the ecosystem of the lake Kivu

H.E Ambassador of the Netherlands in Rwanda, the Energy Division Manager at the Ministry of Infrastructure and the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Energy Group officiated the ceremony to launch a new research boat called "Umurage", equipped to be used during the inspection & monitoring of the lake Kivu to ensure the sustainability of its ecosystem. 

The Managing Director of Energy Development Corporation Ltd. where  the Lake Kivu Monitoring Program is located said that the idea to purchase this special boat was to ensure that the program LKMP get an adequate instrument which can allow them to fulfil their mandate in preserving the lake stability and protecting its environment. 

“There is a lot of researches and one cannot do research on this lake without this special instrument” he noted. 

The new boat was purchased under the Lake Kivu Monitoring Program (LKMP) with the financial support of the Netherlands. The LKMP was established to monitor the ecological impact of industrial developments of Lake Kivu gas resources in Rwanda. This supervision is done through setting and upholding standards, through inspection and monitoring of methane gas extraction facilities and procedures.

According to the coordinator of the Lake Kivu Monitoring Program, Umutoni Augusta, this vessel will facilitate the program activities as the researchers used to rent other boats which were not effective enough and couldn’t deliver as needed. 

“Our researchers had to go in the lake and come back to the shore in one day due to the capacity of the boats which were being used. But now, given the capacity of this lake, they can even spend a month in the middle of the lake and come back once done with their analysis” said Augusta. 

Augusta also added that Umurage Boat is equipped with a laboratory and has the capacity to pull 2 tons of mud from the bottom of the lake for research and exploration purposes. 

The Ambassador of the Netherlands in Rwanda, H.E. Frederique de Man, said that the boat will also be used by other researchers interested in the lake in a bid to enhance the understanding of the magnificent Lake Kivu system. 

“I am happy to note a good progress of the inspection and monitoring by LKMP of the commercial exploitation of the gas resources” she noted. 

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