KIGALI - Seven years after the government banned the importation of leaded petrol, it has now taken further steps to help reduce pollution, especially in urban areas.
The measures are contained in a new national strategy designed to help tackle factors that cause climate change.
The policy, approved last week by the Cabinet, is also expected to check the number of vehicles in urban areas, and waste toxic fumes that contribute to climate change, according to officials.
The Rwanda National Strategy on Climate Change and Low Carbon Development is part of a wider plan to control the increasing number of cars in Kigali City and other major towns, as well addressing environmental concerns.
“The new strategy is very important. The purpose is to reduce the number of cars and create more space for pedestrians, but also to help contain the challenge of pollution in the country,” said Dr Rose Mukankomeje, the Director General of the national environmental watchdog, Rema.
She pointed out that the size of the country and the population density necessitated action to help reduce of the number of vehicles.
The policy will also promote public awareness on the use of alternative clean energy sources, like hydro-power, geothermal and solar energy.
It also seeks to extend technical and vocational skills to the countryside in renewable energy.
Caroline Kayonga, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Natural Resources, observed that developed economies remained the major producers of pollution, but said that Rwanda was committed to play its part in the global fight against climate change.
“We don’t have big industries that might cause climate change like most developed countries do. However, we cannot just sit back and watch as climate change affects us; we must be seen to be taking our own measures to combat it, which is why we came up with this strategy.”