Animals and Plants
What is growing there in Rwanda?
Due to the different altitudes, the flora of Rwanda is very diverse: It ranges from tropical rainforests in the west to savannah landscapes in the east. The rainforest turns into bamboo forest in the west. In the highlands, wet savannahs predominate, where it rains a little more. Since Rwanda is heavily populated, more and more forest areas are becoming arable land. This often has disastrous consequences for the environment and disturbs the ecological balance.
Which animals live in Rwanda?
Parts of the country are protected in national parks to which animals can retreat. For example, elephants, giraffes, antelopes, lions and leopards live in Akagera Park. Black rhinos, which are already extinct elsewhere, still find a home here. Warthogs, cape buffalo, zebras, waterbuck, hippopotamus and many other animal species also live in Rwanda.
What’s flying in Rwanda?
In Rwanda, most birds live per square meter. This is of course a statistical value, but there are still 700 different bird species. These include hornbills as well as African hummingbirds and nectar birds, whose food comes from the nectar of flowers. The crowned crane, the Ugandan heraldic animal, also feels at home in Rwanda. To get more information on Rwanda and Africa, check homeagerly.
Gorillas in Rwanda
The mountain gorillas are also protected in a national park. They live in the area of the Virunga volcanoes in the Vulcanoe National Park. Here one tries to protect the endangered animal species above all from poachers. They usually live in family ties, which include about eleven animals.
Agriculture in Rwanda
Although Rwanda is making great efforts to develop economically, it is still one of the poorest countries in the world. The civil war has left its mark, population growth is high and climate change is also having a negative impact on the small country. Many people cannot pay taxes at all to the state, which urgently needs the money to build schools, hospitals or new roads.
Most of the people in Rwanda still make a living from agriculture. 93 out of 100 people work in this area. However, they grow most products less for export than for their own use. But the fields are often so small that it is not possible to feed a family from them.
Coffee and tea are served, along with bananas, beans, corn and sweet potatoes. Copper, coltan, cut flowers and fish are also exported. Cassava, millet and peas are also grown for self-sufficiency.
The problem with Rwanda is that more products are imported than exported. The imported products include machines and vehicles, but also food and chemical products.
There is often a lack of electricity
Rwandans keep cattle, but this is also primarily for self-sufficiency. But the service sector is also growing in Rwanda and has a higher share of GDP than agriculture. The industry is not particularly well developed. Methane gas was found in Lake Kiwu, which is now increasingly being extracted.
There is not enough electricity in the country. Only a small part of the population is even connected to the electricity grid. The electricity is primarily obtained from hydropower. But the growing demand can still not be met. So the electricity is often switched off. Mostly wood or charcoal is used for cooking, which is bad for the environment.
Drinking water and transportation – bad!
Access to drinking water is poor. Although there is sufficient water in Rwanda due to the rainfall, it has to get to the people somehow. But it is not easy to build drinking water pipes through the rolling hills of Rwanda. There is almost no water disposal, at least in rural regions.
The location of Rwanda also blocks economic development and there are no transport options such as railways. Many goods have to be transported by truck. Important trading partners for Rwanda are Kenya, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, China, Great Britain, Germany, Belgium and the USA.
Plans for a growing economy
Rwanda is making an effort to expand tourism. The national parks with the protection regions for wild animals as well as a diverse and attractive landscape should attract tourists. Tourism has now also become an important industry.
Rwanda has set itself the goal of no longer counting among the poor countries in the world by 2020. For example, it is so far the only African country that has introduced health insurance. At the same time there are plans to expand the IT industry, modernize agriculture and create new jobs outside of agriculture in the countryside.
Football is very popular in Rwanda
Even if many children in Rwanda lead a different life than children here in Germany and in Europe, they often have very similar interests. So football comes first in sport. Rwandan children like to play football, because you can play football almost anywhere in the country. But there are no expensive leather footballs. Instead, children often make a football by tying a ball from plastic waste. But how do you make a soccer ball yourself? Just take a look at the participation tips here in Rwanda and try it out yourself.
How do children live in Rwanda?
Many children in Rwanda live in the countryside, often on small farms. The huts in which the children live with their families are mostly round and have wickerwork walls. This is sealed with clay. The roof is made from grass, reeds or papyrus. It looks like a cone. The house often includes a stable for the animals and a building in which the supplies can be stored. Many Rwandan families are self-sufficient.
But not all Rwandans live in such huts. Some houses are more modern, are built in a rectangle and covered with bricks. In the cities the houses are similar to our houses, these are also multi-storey buildings. In some parts of the city, however, there is still no water supply and no toilets. The power supply in Rwanda is still very poor.
A sweeping day in Africa?
A specialty in Rwanda is Umuganda Day, which takes place on the last Saturday of the year. On this day, the Rwandans ensure order and cleanliness. Roads are mended, trees are planted and a lot is done to keep the places clean. But it’s not just about cleanliness, this day is also about communication between peoples.
In this way, different people come together who otherwise don’t have that much to do with each other and dedicate themselves to one goal, whereby they also get to know each other better. Especially the young people should be addressed with this day. The president also helps. This day is not voluntary, if you skip and do nothing, you have to pay a fine. It may of course be that not all Rwandans are so enthusiastic about this custom.
Goods on their heads and ban on plastic bags
Many goods have to be transported in Rwanda and this is often done by women. Since it is much more impractical to tuck all this under your arm, people there balance the goods in baskets on their heads. That takes some practice. You can easily try it out yourself.
Those who shop like this no longer need plastic bags. Incidentally, plastic bags are banned in Rwanda, a good idea because it is much cleaner there than in other African countries.