The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, (UNESCO-Rwanda), has agreed to launch a Hydrologic program that seeks to mobilise communities to have a hand in treating water resources and combating against water pollution.
The program was launched at Hotel Novotel after a three-day workshop, October 20-22 that attracted experts from UNESCO, the ministries of Infrastructure and Natural Resources, consultants and researchers from different Universities of Rwanda.
“For a long time, we have been hearing of stuff like lack of sewage and drainage systems, toilets, wetland and industrial pollution. However, in this workshop, we have seen how the matter is so serious that we have to do something very urgent to stop water pollution in town,” said Professor of Biology, Jean Bosco Gashagaza, a hydro expert and researcher revealed during the workshop.
Many people trust the ground water sources but what they don’t know is that the water source is polluted, and this pollution is domestic or industrial,” he continued.
Speaking to The New Times, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) Director General, Rose Mukankomeje, said they have been asking the authorities to shift the industrial park from Gikondo for so long.
“Look now, the people of Kimicanga and their children are being infected by typhoid and diarrhoea which are water borne diseases. I expect the authorities in charge to evacuate them as soon as possible because these people were settled in wetlands and you know the use of wetlands is to filter and preserve water. Many people think that we just love wetlands but what they don’t understand is that it’s for their good,” Mukankomeje underscored.
“We are trying to work on it but the situation is not simple in terms of funds in our city. Other modern cities have sewage and water treatment facilities. It will cost Kigali city a lot to treat Nyabugogo River only,” REMA consultant, Richard Ngendahayo, explained.
He added that Hydro pollution, comes from the untreated waste from the prisons, hotels, schools, coffee washing stations at Nyandungu and other institutions.
“Only Commercial Bank of Rwanda (BCR), Kigali Business Centre (KBC), and Rwanda Revenue Authority has waste treatment. So having bore holes without waste treatment is a grave mistake that the city would not dare to do. Even water from Rwanda’s only water and electricity supplier, Electrogaz, is not pure enough for drinking at time when it is enjoying the monopoly,” Ngendahayo noted.
“We have been dealing with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN habitat, but we have to do more in dealing with the issue and let the responsible bodies consider the matter seriously,” underscored Mukankomeje.