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Journal of Forests

June 2021, Volume 8, 1, pp 1-12

Relationship between Human Activities and Deforestation in Karongi District of Rwanda

Olive Nishimwe


Narcisse Hakizimana


Lamek Nahayo


Abias Maniragaba


Theodore Nirere

Olive Nishimwe 1 Narcisse Hakizimana 1 Lamek Nahayo 1 ,
Abias Maniragaba 1 Theodore Nirere 1 

  1. Faculty of Environmental Studies, University of Lay Adventists of Kigali, Kigali, Rwanda. 1

Pages: 1-12

DOI: 10.18488/journal.101.2021.81.1.12

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Article History:

Received: 04 December, 2020
Revised: 07 January, 2021
Accepted: 18 January, 2021
Published: 02 February, 2021


Karongi District of Rwanda is one among districts with high rate of forest clearance resulting from unmanageable human activities and change on land use. This study was conducted in order to analyze the relationship between human activities and deforestation on the period between 2013 and 2019. The authors employed secondary data on forest cover collected from the Rwanda Forestry Authority (RFA), National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), and Karongi District report. Thereafter, the Geographic Information System (GIS) helped to map forest cover and Microsoft Excel was used to indicate the percentage of land cover change over the study period. The Pearson correlation analysis of the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) analyzed the relationship between human activities and deforestation in Karongi District. The results showed that between 2013 and 2019, cropland, built up and population growth rate increased at the rate of 5 %, 2.15%, and 6.07% respectively. The forestland which reduced by 5.4% in the same period generated a positive significant relationship between population growth and forestland with correlation r1= 0.993. The results also revealed a positive significant relationship between settlement and forestland with r2=0.990. The negative significance relationship between cropland expansion and forestland with r3 = -0.970 at 0.05 level of significance was noticed. Since the analysis generated a positive effect of settlements and population growth on deforestation, it can be concluded that human activities contribute to deforestation in Karongi District of Rwanda, and that relevant measures should be applied.
Contribution/ Originality
This paper provided information which is necessary in country like Rwanda or similar regions with high population density looking for food security and development as well. Thus, areas in need of sustainable resources natural management under human pressure can benefit from this study.


Built-up land, Cropland, Deforestation, Forests, GIS, Human activities, Karongi district, Population growth, Rwanda.


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This study received no specific financial support.

Competing Interests:

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


The authors greatly thank all data providers who contributed to the completion of this study.

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