KIGALI, (Xinhua) --
The upper legislative chamber of the Rwandan
parliament on Wednesday voted unanimously to pass a new bill on
disaster management that will be enacted to become a law by the
President of Republic, for the management and prevention and
mitigation of causes of natural and human- generated disasters
in the East African nation, according to an official statement
issued in Kigali.
The vote came after
a long-drawn and heated debate over the role of various
government institutions and ministries in the coordination and
intervention in as post disaster situations where by
humanitarian response to communities affected in remote rural
areas has been compromised over time by a lack of functional
coordinated mechanism, it said.
According to the
recent official report released by Rwanda Environmental
Management Authority (REMA), Rwanda has been for long vulnerable
to natural disasters emanating from climatic or seismic
disturbances. Some of these disasters include drought,
torrential rains, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic
eruptions and epidemics.
It is said that over
the last 20 years, these disasters have practically occurred
throughout the country and they were in most cases exacerbated
by poor farming practices, deforestation and environmental
degradation among others.
According to the new
approved bill, any kind of disaster shall from now on be
classified according to the three categories established by the
The first category
will be comprised of disasters that don’t involve loss of human
life, major loss to property and damage to the environment while
the second classification will consist of the event that might
cause or threatens to cause death, injury, major loss to
property, damage to the environment and disruption to the
community, it said.
On the other hand,
the third category of disasters will be classified for its
severity and magnitude in causing major loss to human lives,
property and the environment.
activities to be done as specified by the new bill , in a move
to be prepared against natural disasters, it includes mainly the
prevention and to prevent disasters from happening, rescuing of
people during a disaster, and the conduction community awareness
programmes and training personnel to be prepared to cope with a
disaster, the statement said.
The new bill has
been approved after several families settled in marshy areas in
the slums of Kigali and its surroundings, have been at many
occasions, affected the torrential rain which pounded some
suburb areas of Rwandan capital, over recent months.
In another related
accident, at least 50 homes and crops have been destroyed in
late January this year following a violent rainstorm that hit
Rwanda’s South Eastern region of Bugesera.
cost the tiny East African nation a total budget of Rwf 1
billion (1,4 millions USD) annually, according to official