22 May 2019

Rwanda: WED - Government to Focus on Curbing Air Pollution

As the country prepares to mark World Environmental Day (WED) early next month, Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) says it will focus on curbing air pollution.

Speaking to The New Times on Tuesday, the Director General of REMA, Coletha Ruhamya said that ahead of the day, they have identified the key air pollutants in the country, on which they will focus their efforts to ensure cleaner air.

The key pollutants in Rwanda, according to Ruhamya, are road traffic, domestic fuel burning, industries and burning of waste, adding that a weeklong campaign is being organised as part of WED celebrations.

"The sources of air pollution were identified by a recent inventory of sources of air pollution in Kigali and its suburbs. The campaign will target all people concerned with such sources so that they embrace preventive and mitigation measures because air pollution has bad impact on environment, human health and climate," she said.

Studies show that, in Rwanda, in 2012, over 2,000 deaths were attributed to ambient air pollution.

Globally, the combined effects of ambient (outdoor) and household air pollution account for about seven million premature deaths every year, largely as a result of increased mortality from stroke, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and acute respiratory infections.

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