Gov’t sets ultimatum on asbestos

KIGALI - The government has set a six-month deadline in which all buildings with asbestos fibre material will be replaced with other accepted materials. The directive was issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure in partnership with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA). 

KIGALI - The government has set a six-month deadline in which all buildings with asbestos fibre material will be replaced with other accepted materials.

The directive was issued by the Ministry of Infrastructure in partnership with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

According to research, the material contains chemical substances that are hazardous to human health.

Speaking to The New Times, the Minister of Infrastructure, Linda Bihire, said that the ministry has hired a consultant to train experts in replacing the materials.

“We have hired a consultant to train a team of experts who will help in removing the materials because the undertaking of removing them is the most dangerous one. It needs professional care to avoid people inhaling the chemical from the asbestos material.”

Schools and hospitals are among buildings that will be most affected by the exercise.

Bihire urged the private sector to approach the ministry to get technical help on how to go round the task of replacing asbestos materials on their buildings.

Asbestos is medically known to cause a variety of diseases such as lung cancer, mesotheloima, pleural plaque and asbestosis.

High levels of lung cancer are also associated with people who worked with asbestos.

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