(Xinhua) -- Rwanda has announced plans
to start feeding more than a million most vulnerable people with
fortified foods across the country, in a bid to eradicate
malnutrition especially among children.
The campaign to
produce foods with essential nutrients to fight malnutrition has
been backed by the establishment of food fortification
processing firm Africa Improved Foods (AIF) Rwanda, based at
Kigali Special Economic Zone, in Gasabo district, Kigali City.
Fortification deals with the addition of micronutrients to
improve nutritional quality of food supply that will assist
human beings in enjoying optimal metabolism and normal growth.
Speaking to reporters on Friday, Prosper Ndayiragije, the
country director of AIF Rwanda said that the country is focusing
on improving nutrition for all citizens through partnership with
fortified food processing company.
"Our company produces fortified blended foods for the
government of Rwanda and the World Food Program (WFP) to help
address malnutrition and stunting in children.
"We are looking forward to improving the nutritional status
of Rwandan population by manufacturing international quality
fortified complementary foods for vulnerable groups," he said.
AIF factory in Rwanda is expected to produce 45,000 tonnes of
fortified food annually, enough to help boost exports and
prevent child malnutrition across country.
Latest statistics from the Rwanda ministry of Agriculture
indicates that malnutrition rate in children dropped from 52 per
cent in 2005 to 38 per cent in 2016.
Although there are many causes of anemia, inadequate intake
of iron folate and vitamin A and B12 usually account for most
causes of the disease.
In 2013, Rwanda launched the ‘1000 Days’ national campaign to
combat malnutrition with an aim of improving maternal and child
health in the country.
According to Geraldine Mukeshimana, Rwanda minister of
agriculture and animal resources, the country is keen to ensure
that processed foods on the market are fortified with the right
amount of micro-nutrients.
"Food fortification is considered to be one of the most
cost-effective ways of addressing widespread deficiencies.
Without the food and nutrients, malnutrition will remain a big
burden to our country’s population," she said.
Last year Rwanda announced plans to end malnutrition before
global target of 2025.
The small central African nation has put more efforts in
fighting hunger and malnutrition by setting up various
initiatives like the ‘One Cow Per Poor Family’ program, One Cup
of Milk per Child per day, school feeding program and the
establishment of the national grain strategic reserve.
Food security and nutrition are considered key issues in the
country’s growth blueprint, the second Economic Development and
Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II).
Rwanda vows proper use of
wetlands to curb climate disasters
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has intensified efforts to
ensure proper utilization of wetlands in a bid to help the
country fight disastrous effects of climate change.
The country asserts that the role of wetlands in disaster
risk reduction is gaining prominence as climate change continues
to heighten the risks of many natural catastrophes.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday during the celebrations to
mark the annual World Wetlands Day, Coletha Ruhamya, director
general, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) said
that wetlands can reduce the impacts of natural hazards if
protected and properly utilized.
"Wetlands in Rwanda face a lot of pressure specially from
poor agriculture, peat extraction, illegal mining, pollution,
dumping of wastes, construction activities and illegal
It is high time that Rwandans promote sustainable practices
which support healthy wetlands for disaster risk reduction," she
noted. "Safeguarding our wetlands would help us reduce the risks
arising from disasters, particularly floods which continue to
affect our lives in various ways thus putting lives at risk and
reducing our food security."
Ruhamya called on Rwandan citizens to take action that help
conserve and promote sustainable use of wetlands.
The day that falls on February 2 every year aims to raise
awareness about the value of wetlands for humanity and the
planet. World Wetlands Day has been celebrated internationally
Each year, government agencies, non-governmental
organizations, and groups of citizens at all levels of the
community have taken advantage of the opportunity to undertake
actions aimed at raising public awareness of wetland values and
benefits in general.
The day that was marked under the theme: "Wetlands for
Disaster Risk Reduction".
The theme calls on governments and communities to consider
the function of wetlands in reducing the impact of extreme
weather events such as floods, droughts and cyclones.
REMA says that wetlands act as a natural sponge, absorbing
and storing excess rainfall and controlling flooding.
During the dry season, they release the water stored,
delaying the onset of droughts and reducing water shortages.
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),
90 percent of all natural hazards are water-related. The
frequency of natural hazards has more than doubled and the
majority are climate and weather related.
Rwanda has experienced a growing number of disasters in
recent decades, causing loss of lives, displacement of people
and damaging of infrastructure, crops and environmental
The 2015 national risk atlas of Rwanda assessment report by
the ministry in charge of disaster management indicated that a
combined disaster (floods, landslides and droughts) could cost
Rwanda a massive 132 million U.S. dollars loss, bigger than the
budget allocated to the country’s agriculture sector.
Rwanda has 867 marshlands covering a total surface of 278,536
hectares equivalent to 10.6 percent of the country surface area.
The small central African country signed the Convention on
Wetlands of International Importance Ramsar Convention in