A new Rwf1.5-billion museum opens to the public today in Karongi district Rwanda.

The environment museum is a project of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda (INMR) in Karongi District in Western Province and is part the country’s plans to boost tourism.

The museum is a quite a sight to behold given its close proximity to lake Kivu, the roofed garden with traditional medicinal plant, and it’s large conferences room and auditorium. It is not only going to be a tourism site but also an educational platform. Educating Rwandans and tourists to Rwanda about environmental tourism and the importance of protecting plants. In educating tourists on how to cope with their environments, the museum shows the cultural use of traditional medicinal plants.

The director general of the Institute of National Museums of Rwanda(INMR), Mr. Alphonse B. Umulisa noted that museum will be the only one of its kind in Africa, which is already a tourism marketing point for Rwanda.

Speaking at the Launch of the Museum last week, me. Umulisa said that all medicinal plants are found within our communities but people might not know how to use them. The museum will give them a chance to learn how to use them.

Apart from educating people on the benefits of traditional medicinal plants, the museum will also showcase different forms of energy produced in the area, the role played by energy in the changing environment and its impact. All of that will make the facility a true learning platform.

The environmental museum will also boost tourism not only in the Karongi district but in Rwanda. It is after all one more tourist attraction for Rwanda to add to its growing list of attractions such as game parks, the Virunga mountain ranges, mountain gorillas and gorilla trekking.   Its strategic location near Lake Kivu makes it even more attractive, since the lake is also a tourist attraction of its own.

Some Locals in the area are excited because the museum will provide some jobs, for youth and business people in the area, since tourists who visit the museum will be bound to buy a few things from the town. It is also seen as an opportunity for the town to develop in addition to all the educational benefits.

According to INMR Rwanda has six museums and about 80 historical sites and the income from museums has increased to Rwf20 million per month from Rwf500, 000 per month in the last five years. Hopefully, this new environment museum will bring about an even bigger increase in income for Rwanda’s tourism sector.