In the districts of Musanze and Gasabo, in the Northern Province, Rwandans are destroying protected areas, including Nkotsi and Bikara, by cutting down trees to burn charcoal in the forests for firewood.
Augustin Bizimana, one of the residents of Musanze district in Rwanda's Northern province, says that due to the lack of firewood, they are stealing wood from the public forest of Nkotsi and Bikara, protected areas known as "Gihondohondo", a name given in reference to the predominant tree species there, Dracaena steudneri.
To cope with this shortage of cooking energy, we play it smart," says Augustin, "one of us will trick the rangers at night by chatting with them while others steal wood in the Nkotsi protected area.
As payment, we give him a bundle of wood," he added. The fact that there is population growth around these protected areas is one of the major causes of the slow disappearance of these forests, notes our informant. "For us, energy for cooking is a problem," said Augustin.