KIGALI - The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) believes that the harmonisation of regional ecosystem laws is fundamental for the quality of environment in East African countries.
The Director General of REMA, Dr Rose Mukankomeje, expressed this in an exclusive interview with The New Times.
Regional lawmakers meet today in Kigali to discuss the management of a Trans-boundary Ecosystems Bill that aims at enhancing the quality of the environment and also ensure sustainable utilisation of shared natural resources in the East African Community.
Mukankomeje noted that some of the regional countries experience negative impacts in poor environment management, adding that this affects other neighbouring countries.
“What we need is better management of our environment. If one country is poorly managed environmentally, it will impact others. For example, there is a famine in Kirundo in Burundi, near the Rwanda border, and people are now looking for food in Rwanda,” she said.
“It is said that most parts of the Kirundo area are affected by bush burning and deforestation, which caused barrenness and lack of food.”
Mukankomeje observed that Rwanda has implemented measures of protecting the natural resources shared regionally, saying that other countries should also apply theirs.
“We have done much in protecting water on Lake Kivu but the Congo side of the lake is not protected. We all use this water. So if it’s polluted, it will affect all of us”.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA) is currently sensitising member countries to emulate Rwanda in eradicating polythene bags to protect the environment.