Rwanda: Government Bio-Medical Waste Incinerator Finally Gets a Buyer

27 January 2020

The government-owned bio-medical waste incinerator that has been lying idle for about a decade in Kigali City's Mageragere site in Nyarugenge district has finally found a buyer who will put it to use.

The government is expected to hand over the incinerator to the private investor who acquired it today on Monday, January 27 at Mageragere site.

An incinerator is the equipment used for burning waste material, especially industrial waste, at high temperatures until it is reduced to ash.

The bio-medical waste incinerator has been acquired by a local private investor who is involved in the disposal of bio-medical waste.

Without naming the firm, sources close to the privatization transaction say that the acquisition followed an invitation to bids by the government last year.

One firm expressed interest to take over the facility.

Today's handover could see the facility finally put to use after a decade since it was acquired.

The Mageragere-based incinerator was bought in 2010 but has remained idle, which has been blamed for poor planning by those who procured the machine.

The machine which was acquired from BIA South Africa at Rwf329,783,857 and supplied on May 19, 2011, had not been fully installed for years.

The incinerator's idle status has been a point of criticism by various authorities such as Parliament and Auditor General's Report.

In June last year, Minister for Health Dr. Diane Gashumba told Parliament that Rwf798 million has so far been spent on the machine since 2010, including buying the equipment, repairing some of its parts that were damaged, and finding space where to install it and a water supply system it needed to use.

Both the water system and space where to install the machine were not planned earlier before procuring the machinery, which led to the equipment lying idle for years, the minister said.

In 2014, a report by the Auditor-General for 2012/13 fiscal year indicated that several bio-medical waste incinerators procured by the government had issues, with construction delays noticed at Mageragere incineration plant.

Under the new management, the facility is expected to take in bio-waste from hospitals, clinics, and health facilities which would otherwise pose a health risk and environmental hazard if not well disposed of.

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