Muhabura Volcano

Ntaruka power station

Rugezi Marsh



Lake Ruhondo

Lake Burera

0 5 miles 0 5 km

Portia widow dragonfly




I grew up in the African country of Rwanda. As a child, I lived in a village close to a wetland. I swam with my friends in the rivers. I tried to catch dragonflies as they flew by. My friends and I called them “Flying Flowers of the River.” Over time, there were fewer and fewer dragonflies. I wondered why.

When I grew up, I came back to this place. It is called the Rugezi Marsh. The marsh is a source of both water and power. This wetland controls the water that flows into two big rivers. The marsh also feeds a power station that produces electricity. I do a lot of my work in this marsh.

In Rwanda, the dwarf percher dragonfly can only be found in Rugezi Marsh.

Facing a Crisis

Years ago, there was trouble here. There was little rainfall. There was too much building and farming. It was harming the ecosystem. Water levels in the marsh dropped. We had less power.

We are working to bring back the marsh. Believe it or not, dragonflies can help!

violet dropwing dragonfly

Signs of Health

Dragonflies show us the health of a wetland. How? They spend most of their life cycle in the water. The water must be clean for them to live. My team and I track dragonflies. When we can’t find them, we know that part of the marsh needs help. The marsh will recover. Then we will see more “flying flowers.”