A world renowned consultancy firm, Aurecon, has won a contract worth Rwf34m to assist government in the formulating of a national disaster management plan.
The disaster management unit, in the Ministry of Internal Security facilitates civil, military and inter-agency coordination in researching and developing a national disaster management and humanitarian assistance.
The development was revealed by head of the unit, CSP. Damas Gatare, during an interview with The New Times.
“These gentlemen are going to assist us in developing a disaster management plan, with funding from the UNDP,” Gatare said.
The UN agency is injecting USD 60,000 (approx. Rwf 34 million) into the three-month project.
“This has already been agreed upon. A contract has been signed between Aurecon and UNDP. The contract officially started yesterday (September 14) and we are expecting to have the final report in December.”
Aurecon is a global group created through the merger of three companies – Africon, Connell Wagner and Ninham Shand, which provides different professional technical services in the Africa-Middle East and Asia-Pacific zones.
Aurecon’s trio – Johan Minnie, Hilary Bama and Thinus Rabe together with Gatare, were planning an immediate country tour to get a general picture of impact assessment.
Their risk evaluation assessment trip will lead them to selected areas including Kayonza, Musanze, Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Nyabihu and Rubavu which are considered “highly vulnerable” to floods, mudslides and fires.
They will also visit Akagera Park in the east which is one of the most vulnerable areas to fires.
“They are going to look at disasters in a global context but they will largely base on natural disasters which include earthquakes, floods and even fires and then, within the report, we will be able to do what we call resource and disaster mapping,” said Gatare.
“This information will help us know what we have and what we need to plan in the future so as to put measures and processes in place to reduce risks.”
Rabe says this is Aurecon’s first project in Rwanda but noted that the company is involved in different projects in the region.
“We assist in putting measures and processes in place to minimize disaster effects like loss of life, damage to property and environmental degradation,” said Rabe.
Meanwhile, the Government has intensified plans to deal with heavy floods that are expected as the rainy season begins.
Seven district-level disaster management officials in all provinces have been trained on how people can coordinate and work together on any type of disaster.
Latest regional meteorological forecasts warn that El Nino-induced rains will hit hard starting from next month and are expected to cause havoc in many parts of East Africa.