Early warning system needed to forestall disasters

MUSANZE – Scientists at the Higher Institute of Science and Agriculture-ISAE Busogo have said there is need to install early warning systems to forestall disasters from happening especially those that are mainly attributed to climate change. 
The natural disasters have led to displacement of dozens in Musanze district. (Photo: B. Mukombozi)
The natural disasters have led to displacement of dozens in Musanze district. (Photo: B. Mukombozi)

MUSANZE – Scientists at the Higher Institute of Science and Agriculture-ISAE Busogo have said there is need to install early warning systems to forestall disasters from happening especially those that are mainly attributed to climate change. 

Speaking to The New Times, Dr. Charles Karemangingo, the institute’s Rector and a soil management specialist, said that an automatic weather monitoring station should be established in the Virunga’s, to monitor the weather changes which would help to warn people ahead of catastrophes.

He advised that massive land slides, floods and soil erosion can be controlled through making diversion terraces and digging trenches along the farm lands  to control the speeding water brought about by heavy rains.

The recent landslides and floods hit areas adjacent to the Virunga Mountains killing 11 people in Rwanda and over 60 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo while displacing hundreds and destroying property.

“We need better management measures to deal with such natural disasters, especially monitoring rain precipitation, soil moisture and resettlement of families away from floodable zones to avoid future problems,” Karemanjingo said.

The Rector revealed that the Institute is finalizing a water shed management plan based on land capability classification, defining suitable areas for settlement, cultivation and forest plantation for such affected areas.

“The program of community settlement should be speeded up. We need to see people being relocated from inhabitable zones. More so random cultivation should be discouraged as it tends to endanger both the eco-system as well as human beings,” Karemanjingo said.

Suresh Kumar Pande, head of the department of  Soil and Water Management  at the institute  said that there should be strengthening of river banks through stone pitching and plantations for the purposes of limiting damages brought by such disasters. 

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