The State Minister for Energy, Dr. Albert Butare has refuted reports on dangers posed by the Lake Kivu gases mainly portrayed by the several media outlets in foreign countries.
The Science daily and the New York Times have published articles on the hazards posed by the gases trapped beneath Lake Kivu.
The publications reported that the dissolved gases and extraction of methane gases in the Lake Kivu could cause harm to over two million residents living around the lake as a result.
In an interview with The New Times, Butare castigated the articles saying that they were ill informed, alarming and to some extent factually incorrect.
“Instead of downplaying such ill-founded sensation with practical answers, the author is playing on people’s fears. What is needed is a set of practical explanations of the phenomena and similarly practical warnings and solutions to allow the people to avoid these dangers.”
The minister said that government is aware of all the potential dangers and is doing everything possible to mitigate them, and ensure the safety of the population within the L. Kivu environment.
“An expert group including top scientists and engineers involved in methane extraction and lake science has been advising both governments (DRC and Rwanda) and has issued firm recommendations on gas extraction requirements.”
“The experts have set out the safest, most environmentally friendly and technically efficient methods of reducing the gas load in Lake Kivu. Methane extraction can make the lake many times safer than it is at present,” Butare said.