Umusambi Village_ Social Impact Assessment Report (SIA)
Umusambi Village is a project to establish a permanent facility for illegally traded cranes and other wildlife that are unfit to return to the wild. ‘Umusambi Village’ sanctuary and Nature reserve is designed to provide semi-wild conditions and a permanent home for those captive Grey Crowned Cranes that are disabled or sick and cannot be reintroduced to the wild. This will then mean that Rwanda can achieve the goal of having no Grey Crowned Cranes in captivity. The nature reserve and sanctuary will also serve as a place of recreation where families, tourists and schools can visit to relax, and we will develop an educational facility to raise awareness of conservation and cranes in Rwanda. Umusambi Village will be set up under Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association (RWCA), a registered NGO with all the proceeds going back in to the facility. In order to be financially sustainable, it will need to attract a regular number of visitors and provide add-on activities. An additional remit is to be an educational centre on birds, wildlife, ecosystems and indigenous plant conservation in Rwanda, targeting schools as well as general visitors.
The Vision of RWCA is to establish Umusambi Village as An Ecotourism Site Connecting People and Nature in Kigali, Rwanda.
Expected Social-Economic Impact
- Economic impact
With over 1 million visitors arriving in Kigali annually, this facility is designed to be the first of its kind in Rwanda, providing conservation education and recreation opportunities for local and international visitors.
Umusambi Village will be an added attraction for Kigali City contributing to the increase of time that tourists spend in Kigali, which means more tourists can spend more money in Rwanda.
Umusambi Village is going to be a big opportunity for job creation. Over 7 additional jobs will be created for young Rwandans to be involved in the marketing, management and maintenance of the village.
In Addition, Umusambi Village is going to be a source of many part-time jobs for local communities living nearby Umusambi Village. RWCA has already initiated restoration activities on the site. Since the beginning of restoration activities, we have hired people from the local communities around Umusambi Village to help with the physical labour and planting. This has financially contributed to many families who are living in poverty. Over the last 10 months, we have employed over 100 community members, many of whom are women with children. This has made a big difference to them and some of the women gave us positive feedback, that through the temporary employment, they have been able to buy government health insurance for their family or provide food or school uniforms for their children.
Two members of the communities are already hired on a fulltime bases. As Umusambi Village progresses and we develop more activities, we hope to generate more full time jobs and create income generating activities related to tourist such as culture tourism, home experience, arts …
- Scientific and behavior change impact
Umusambi Village will be established as an educational and research center, and a place where school groups and families can see and learn about threatened native wildlife.
It will also support the Rwanda Wildlife Conservation Association’s work of increasing awareness and changing behaviors towards poaching, the pet trade, and habitat.
We will work with schools in Kigali to make sure we can reach to as many young Rwandan and educate them on environmental protection. We hope to run some pogrammes such as summer camps where kids can have intensive hands on conservation learning programme. We will also find ways to bring kids from the outside of Kigali to benefit from this progamme.
Umusambi Village is so diverse and it is a potential for University student research projects. We hope to create internship and research opportunities to as many as possible students. As we grow, we hope to have RWCA base at Umusambi Village establishing ourselves as an organization that provides clinical interventions to wildlife in Rwanda and we hope to increase the capacity of Rwandan to do this.
- Social impact
When you google things to do in Kigali, you only find a few things. National and International families sometimes wish there could be more areas and different programmes or play areas for their children. Our aim is to establish Umusambi Village as a child friendly order to attract families and creating an opportunity of interaction between families. We also hope to give a chance to neibouring communities and kids to often visit and connect with other visitors. Some social connections will be established between communities in the surrounding and other visitors through art and culture exchange. We hope to give a chance to communities in the surrounding to exhibit traditional dances, arts and many other culture specific activities.
Through our summer camps and other programmes, kids from different areas will get an opportunity to interact and make new friends, learn and have fun.