[Editorial] Disaster relief efforts: Private sector should play a bigger role

At least 924 houses were destroyed and three people injured following heavy rains, which triggered floods in Rubavu District on Saturday.

At least 924 houses were destroyed and three people injured following heavy rains, which triggered floods in Rubavu District on Saturday.

The rains triggered floods from Sebeya River, leaving thousands of people displaced, mostly in Kanama, Rugerero and Nyundo Sectors.

Also, about 26 houses, animals and gardens were destroyed but government responded immediately with delivery of basic relief aid including water and food to help those who were affected.

However, while it is the duty of government to respond to such disasters, the private sector is usually silent or does little to support government efforts. The private sector should play a more active role in offering relief support to disaster victims.

It is good business practice for every private organization, especially the corporate companies to have a clear policy on supporting victims of national disasters to supplement government efforts.

The support can come in different forms including direct aid with materials and items or directly financing rescue efforts. When a natural disasters strike, its victims most urgently need aid and in most cases the victims are poor people who may not have the means to recover from such catastrophe.

Going forward, the private sector, especially the corporate world should do more in supporting victims of disasters like floods.

Also at the policy making level, government should set new strategies on how the private sector can effectively partner with government when it comes to disaster relief efforts.

Also to avoid similar incidents like the River Sebeya floods, a permanent solution should b devised to solve this problem for good.

Residents living in high risk zones near River Sebeya should be moved to safer places as soon as possible.

Government and a private sector should have a clear cut partnership on how to work together in the area of disaster relief efforts and mitigation.

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