Rwanda upgrades disaster preparedness capacity

The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) plans to increase its capacity to deal with calamities. Justin Kayira, the director in charge of Disaster Preparedness at the ministry, told The New Times that, despite the limited finances and equipment, they intervene in every way possible.

The Ministry of Disaster Preparedness and Refugee Affairs (MIDIMAR) plans to increase its capacity to deal with calamities.

Justin Kayira, the director in charge of Disaster Preparedness at the ministry, told The New Times that, despite the limited finances and equipment, they intervene in every way possible.

“This is a new ministry which has no sufficient budget and limited by equipment. We are serving the people in any way possible though,” he said.

MIDIMAR currently has limited fire rescue equipment, according to Kayira, but plans are underway to acquire more to increase their intervention in fire-related calamities.

The Ministry has started extensive campaigns to educate the citizens on the causes of different disasters like; lightening, epidemic diseases, hailstorms, and how they can be prevented.

This is done through training programs from national to sector level, plus working with the media, he said.

MIDIMAR is also working alongside the ministry of infrastructure to ensure that people construct houses in places not exposed to landslides. 

“We advise people to install lightning conductors on their houses.”

The ministry recently established disaster management committees, operating down to sector level and these ensure that adequate response to any probable calamity.

Kayira expects the ministry’s operations to be more effective in the near future due to the present capacity building campaigns. 

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