Red Cross says prepared to contain disasters ahead of the rainy season

A panel discussion moderated by Matthew Rwahigi. Looking on are Dr Rutebuka Balinda, Philippe Habinshuti, Eugene Karangwa and Dr Bernard. Panelists shared inputs on effective strategies in reinforcing community resilience to disasters. Courtesy.

Rwanda Red Cross says it is prepared to deal with the humanitarian challenges that may be caused by heavy rains.

This was disclosed on Wednesday during the organisation’s disaster management meeting with stakeholders – which attracted academia, policymakers, private sector, UN agencies and the civil society to exchange experience on how to handle the increasing risk of natural and human-made disasters.

Dr Paul Bwito, the president of Red Cross Rwanda said that the organisation is ready to work with other institutions contain the impact disasters that might be occasioned by rain.

“We are always prepared especially during the rainy season. We have volunteers who are well trained, as well as a stock of materials like blankets, wheelbarrows, iron sheets; which we give to people who are affected by disasters for example those whose houses have been destroyed,” he said.

In order to reduce risks associated with disasters such as landslides, Bwito called upon Rwandans not build houses in high risk places.

Speaking at the event, Germaine Kamayirese, the Minister for Emergency Management, expressed gratitude to Red Cross for the “dedication” in saving lives of millions of people affected by disasters across the world.

“In its role of auxiliary to the Government of Rwanda in disaster risk management and humanitarian area, the Rwanda Red Cross was and is still among the first responders that boost considerably response efforts.”

She noted that the current national strategy for social transformation emphasises the need for every Rwandan to access basic human security.

“The government of Rwanda strategy to disaster risk management reflects a holistic and multi-hazard approach and takes into account actions at community and national level,” she said.

“As far as the technical capacity development is concerned, it is worth noting that the Disaster Management structures have been established and strengthened at every administrative unit. Roles and responsibilities at all levels and the required partnerships of stakeholders were defined.”

Among other things, the minister also said that people living in high risk zones will be encouraged and supported to resettle safe places where they can easily access the basic social amenities such as roads, energy, water, and health facilities.

She expressed appreciation for the integration of ICT in the disaster management, as a development that has brought a huge boost especially the ministry’s disaster communication system, and the meteo forecast, spreading early warning messages.

“There is a very positive sign that these collaborations are effectively yielding results, since the needs assessment, response plans and implementation area jointly conducted and reports shared,” she said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

 

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