Members of Parliament (MPs) have decried the poor collection and disposal of garbage in the country.
The legislators have called upon government to set up a clear policy on garbage disposal.
During a plenary session yesterday, the MPs told the State Minister for Energy, Water and Sanitation, Germaine Kamayirese, that a specific policy on garbage disposal is needed if the country is to streamline the collection and disposal of garbage and sewage.
The MPs suggested ways of improving waste management and requested the government to work toward changing the way it is done.
“We need to deposit garbage in specialised containers instead of putting it in sacks,” said MP Fortunée Nyiramadirida.
MP Marie Josée Kankera wondered whether different types of objects in the garbage shouldn’t be sorted instead of putting everything in the same sack.
MP John Ruku Rwabyoma warned about the health of garbage collectors who, he said, do not wear gloves and the fact that garbage is collected using ordinary vehicles rather than specialised trucks.
“We need to get companies specialised in garbage recycling. Garbage collectors should be meeting some requirements before they are allowed in the business,” Rwabyoma said.
MP Constance Mukayuhi Rwaka decried the way sewage is recycled, adding that an awful stench emanates from several quarters, including downtown Kigali.
Minister Kamayirese admitted that the current policy governing garbage and sewage management was not clear, adding that a new policy on proper waste management is in the offing.
“The new policy will focus on sanitation and standards will be set on how to handle both solid and liquid waste,” Kamayirese told the lawmakers.
The minister said the new policy will draw a line between water and sanitation.
That separation of water and sanitation, the minister said, will help ensure that minimum standards are respected.
The minister said the new policy will specify different types of garbage and how to handle it.
But the MPs were not satisfied with the minister’s explanation about how garbage and sewage are handled in the country.
“We want him to explain the policy clearly. It looks like there is no policy at all. There should be a clear, written plan on how to handle garbage or sewage,” one of the MPs told a team of technicians from the Ministry of Infrastructure in an informal conversation shortly after the session.