World renowned consultancy firm, Aurecon, working to formulate the country’s National Disaster Management plan, has presented its progress report and says it is making good headway, The New Times has learnt.
Five weeks into its three-month assignment, the firm which had earlier won the contract to assist government to undertake the project, on Thursday presented what it calls “the inception report” to stakeholders at Telecom House, Kacyiru.
“We are giving our feedback in terms of progress – we are actually delivering our inception report,” Thinus Rabe, Aurecon’s team leader said in an interview.
“The inception report is the proposed layout of the disaster management plan and what we see as tasks that should be performed in different areas.”
The consultant underlined that the progress made was satisfactory and that Aurecon was getting stakeholders’ contribution: “input on the probability of hazards occurrence, vulnerability and capacity to cope.”
According to Chief Supt. Damas Gatare, who heads the preparedness and management unit in the Ministry of Internal Security, the country’s biggest challenges in rolling out a smooth disaster management plan include; resources, communication and capacity issues,
“What we noted is that the Rift Valley area and the volcano areas – is a natural phenomenon that increases people’s, environmental and critical facility vulnerability. Other aspects contributing to people’s vulnerability include land use management or land use practices,” Rabe said.
Funds for the project - USD 60,000 (approx. Rwf 34 million), were provided by UNDP which signed a contract with Aurecon last month.
The UN agency’s disaster management specialist is monitoring the firm’s work and its Energy Programme Officer - Environment Unit, Henri Esseqqat, sounded confident.
“They have been all over the country and the work they have done is quite comprehensive and we are happy with that,” said Esseqqat.
Aurecon’s consultants’ countrywide are on a risk evaluation assessment trip that began mid-September covering areas like; Musanze, Nyamasheke, Rusizi, Nyabihu and Rubavu which are considered “highly vulnerable” to floods, mudslides.
Also visited was Akagera Park in the east, one of the most vulnerable areas to fires.
A final report is expected in December.