Environmentalists put RURA on spot over Nyanza wastes

Representatives from both public and private institutions that have environment issues within their responsibility yesterday took the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA) administration to task to explain why the agency put in place guidelines on waste management without consulting other stakeholders, The New Times reports.
UNDER PROBE: Children going through the garbage heap at Nyanza Landfill.
UNDER PROBE: Children going through the garbage heap at Nyanza Landfill.

Representatives from both public and private institutions that have environment issues within their responsibility yesterday took the Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA) administration to task to explain why the agency put in place guidelines on waste management without consulting other stakeholders, The New Times reports.

Innocent Mutuyimana, Executive Director of Innovastand said that participants complained about the non-involving work ethics at RURA.

“It’s a pity that RURA can sit and draft guidelines on waste management without consulting everyone involved in this activity,” he said.

Collette Ruzibiza, who represented RURA at the workshop, was quick to explain that the guidelines were done during a time when there were emergency sanitation issues.

“The guidelines were developed at a time when there was a serious emergency sanitation issue and little time to deal with it. They are not static and everyone can bring in ideas as we continue to improve on it,” she said.

Joseph Katabarwa who heads the Hygiene and Sanitation Desk at the Ministry of Health was not impressed by RURA’s explanation.

“I am from the Ministry of Health and I am ignorant about these guidelines. I remember RURA coming to us to request for some documentation but nobody asked for our contribution. I don’t understand why RURA is talking about emergency; Rwanda is out of that period. Right now, we are thinking of long term solutions,” he said

The participants also pointed out RURA’s failure to be clear and specific about the safety of garbage collectors.

The New Times recently reported about a team of Kigali City Council (KCC) recruits who work six days at the Nyanza Landfill without protective gear like gum boots, masks and gloves.

Kenneth Tumusiime, a Waste Prevention Consultant who also made a presentation after a group discussion said that there was an issue of inadequate institutional coordination on waste management.

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