New disaster committee set up
The government has set up a Disaster Steering Technical Committee (DSTC) that will be charged with coordinating disasters in the country.
The new team will now have to work with the already existing National Disaster Steering Committee (NDSC) to ensure proper coordination and management of disasters in the country.
While commissioning the committee at the Prime Minister’s office, the Minister of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee affairs, Gen. Marcel Gatinzi, said government is doing its best to contain the disasters as well as mitigate their effects through various rescue actions.
“Government is doing everything possible to provide shelter, medicare, psychological counselling, food and other essential commodities to the unfortunate families,” he said.
In a statement, Minister Gatsinzi appealed to residents in the affected areas to report early if anything happens for the government to intervene on time.
The Northern and Western provinces have over the years, been most hit by disasters, ranging from earthquake to mudslides.
Gatsinzi said in the medium and long term, government has plans to relocate all people settled in zones prone to disasters to safer areas.
“Government wishes to assure Rwandans that while some of these disasters are beyond prevention, every resource shall be mobilised and deployed to minimise the damage they end up causing.”
Floods due to heavy rains have over the last one month affected parts of the country, mainly the Northern, Western and Eastern provinces.
The floods have claimed lives of 17 people in recent weeks.
Fatal landslides damaged roads and devastated several crop fields in different districts especially Musanze, Nyabihu, Rubavu, Rulindo, Ngororero, Muhanga, Nyamagabe, Karongi, Nyagatare, Bugesera and Kayonza.
Institutions that make up the NDSC are MIDIMAR (chair), Ministry of Defence (vice chair), Ministry of Local Government, and Ministry of Internal Security.
Others are ministries of Health, Natural Resources, Agriculture and Infrastructure; Rwanda Defense Forces; and the Rwanda National Police.