Districts urged to budget for disasters

KIGALI - Provincial authorities in the Western Province are advising districts in the region to include disaster management in their 2011/2012 budgets.
Children play in a flooded area in Western Province; authorities in the province have been advised to include disaster management in its 20112012 budget (File photo)
Children play in a flooded area in Western Province; authorities in the province have been advised to include disaster management in its 20112012 budget (File photo)

KIGALI - Provincial authorities in the Western Province are advising districts in the region to include disaster management in their 2011/2012 budgets.

The districts have previously been hit by disasters, including floods, with victims of a recent heavy downpour still resettling.

At a budget consultative meeting, that drew central and local government officials, Paul Jabo, the provincial Executive Secretary, also urged the government to allocate more resources for disaster management.

He explained that in season B alone, 480 houses were destroyed by heavy rains and thunderstorms.

“Disasters are our biggest challenge in the Western Province, and districts do not have the necessary capacity to manage them due to lack of enough resources,” said Jabo, who was representing the Governor of the province.

Cyrille Turatsinze, the newly appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs, called for joint efforts by relevant stakeholders in mitigating the consequences of such catastrophes whenever they occur.

He advised the province to align their budget with the pillars of the Integrated Development Programme (IDP), which will accelerate the economic growth of the country.

“The budget should focus on bigger economic projects such as power, agriculture, tourism and SMEs which drive growth,” said Turastinze. He cautioned against lack of accountability by district leaders and encouraged full utilization of the allocated resources.

Jabo added that the province needs to allocate more resources in developing and maintaining a good road network, and to build the technical know-how of their personnel.

During budget consultations, officials from the central and local government share ideas on the next fiscal budget. The next fiscal year starts in July.

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