Disaster preparedness should be a global responsibility

Weekend reports of the heavy rains in the Rubavu district that caused the destruction of 53 houses and 257 hectares of land should be cause for great concern to all. Such disasters are in no way the making of the areas and the communities affected, precisely because the phenomenon behind such occurrences are determined elsewhere. This ranges from emissions released by industrialized countries and the general poor management of the environment, from countries afar.

Weekend reports of the heavy rains in the Rubavu district that caused the destruction of 53 houses and 257 hectares of land should be cause for great concern to all.
Such disasters are in no way the making of the areas and the communities affected, precisely because the phenomenon behind such occurrences are determined elsewhere.

This ranges from emissions released by industrialized countries and the general poor management of the environment, from countries afar.

The fact that a significant number of people residing in the district have not only lost their homes and source of livelihood, is made worse by the revelation that the authorities were caught ill-prepared.

This points to one reminder. That we might be faced with yet another humanitarian crisis in the country that will set us back in terms of losing the many achievements registered over the years, especially with regards to food security.

We have known for some time that East African countries including Rwanda are going to be the hard hit by the El Nino effect.

We are aware of the potential these heavy rains have on  the destruction of infrastructure, soil erosion and the increased threat of waterborne diseases, which are likely to affect both humans and animals.

However, the most severe impact is on food security, the irony being that those who rely on agriculture need rains to survive and it is the same rains that might destroy their food in the fields.

While the Disaster Management Unit in the Ministry of Internal Security has assured us that they have contingency plans in place, we would like to see more beyond this.

The possible impact of the rains should be addressed at a global level for instance, owing to the fact that while we are at the receiving end of the destruction and pollution of the environment, the polluters at the global level should take responsibility for such disasters.

The Rubavu incidence only means one thing. That all stakeholders will have to put their act together to avert an even possibly bigger humanitarian crisis when El Nino comes full swing.

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