Ministers explain Rwanda’s efforts to mitigate climate change

The Ministers in charge of environment, disaster preparedness, and agriculture yesterday held a consultative meeting with lawmakers that revolved around the effects of Climate Change.
Dr Biruta and other officials plant grass during a special community exercise (Umuganda) last month at Nyandungu Wetland which is being developed into an Eco-Tourism Park. (Courtesy)
Dr Biruta and other officials plant grass during a special community exercise (Umuganda) last month at Nyandungu Wetland which is being developed into an Eco-Tourism Park. (Courtesy)

The Ministers in charge of environment, disaster preparedness, and agriculture yesterday held a consultative meeting with lawmakers that revolved around the effects of Climate Change.

The minister for Natural Resources, Dr Vincent Biruta, Disaster and Refugees affairs minister Seraphine Mukantabana and the State Minister for Agriculture,  Fulgence Nsengiyumva, explained to the lawmakers what the effects of climate change have been so far and what strategies are in place to mitigate them.

 

Rwanda has experienced unusual rain patterns, flooding, prolonged droughts, crop pests, fires and disease outbreaks that are linked to climate change, the ministers said.

 

Biruta noted that Rwanda’s environment policies from over past 10 years are under review so as to be updated with new elements such as the Paris climate agreement, Sustainable Development Goals,  among others.

 

“We have in place  a climate fund with $90m to support green projects. It has so far supported 35 projects in the area of environment, worth Rwf32 billion,” Biruta added.

Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa said Rwanda should make use of multilateral agreements and national  laws on environment protection.

According to Minister Mukantabana, in 2016,  disasters killed about 183 people while, this year, 31 people have died so far.

“The disasters affect especially households in high risk zones,” she said.

 “We constructed climate resilient model houses in Rusizi, Rubavu and Ngororero districts that can withstand disasters such as flooding and earthquakes,” Mukantabana added.

Nsengiyumva said rainfall patterns have changed and therefore more efforts are being under taken to help  farmers embrace small scale irrigation among other initiatives. 

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