KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda on Wednesday announced plans for
sustainable green investments aimed at improving environmental
and climate change management in order to reduce the country’s
vulnerability to natural hazards.
Speaking at a
national forum on re-greening Rwanda, Francine Tumushime,
minister of lands and forestry, said that green investments such
as forest cover restoration, reduction of greenhouse gas
emissions and reduction of the use of charcoal and fuel wood
will help the country to mitigate natural disaster risk.
“From January to
June this year, Rwanda was severely affected by natural
disasters caused by heavy rain which claimed at least 222
people. We are putting in much effort to invest in green economy
to mitigate this catastrophe in future,” she noted.
The one day meeting
focused on discussing sustainable ways to boost green economy
and reduce environmental risks while improving human well-being
and social equity.
According to De
bonheur Jeanne d’Arc, Rwandan minister disaster management and
refugee affairs, strengthening risk management through
re-greening Rwanda is essential for advancing green growth in
light of climatic change.
coordinating our efforts towards greening Rwanda is one of the
mitigation measures to reduce disaster risks,” she added.
She encouraged all
key stakeholders to support the recovery and rebuilding efforts
in all the areas affected by natural disasters across the
As part of the
efforts to improve green growth in the country, Vincent Biruta,
Rwandan minister of environment, said that the government of
Rwanda aims to carry out environmental management initiatives
that will help permanently address disasters related to climate
“With more natural
disasters looming as we enter the rainy season, it is important
that all stakeholders do what they can to help protect the
environment and mitigate natural disasters,” he added.
The meeting brought
together government officials, representatives from the private
sector, civil society organizations, non-governmental
organizations and development partners among others.
The forum tackled
the country’s major environmental issues, such as climate
change, pollution, land and forest degradation and renewable
energy among others.
According to the
ministry of disaster management and refugee Affairs, at least
222 people lost their lives and 14,491 houses were destroyed in
natural disasters caused by heavy rains across Rwanda between
January and June this year.
The heavy down pour
also destroyed 8,978 hectares of crops, 49 bridges, and 754
livestock lost their lives in the same period.
Rwanda spent more
than 911,915 U.S dollars as relief aid packages to the affected
population, according to the ministry.
Rwanda targets to
have a forest cover of 30 percent by 2018, a goal that is likely
to be achieved earlier given that, presently, forest cover is at
29.6 percent of the nation, according to the ministry of lands
campaign to end mother-to-child HIV transmission
KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) --
Rwanda on Monday launched a national campaign to
eliminate mother-to-child transmission of new HIV infections and
keeping mothers alive.
The campaign, dubbed
“Free to Shine Rwanda,” seeks to increase awareness, strengthen
ownership and accountability to end HIV/AIDS among children and
keep mothers alive and healthy, according to the Rwandan
ministry of health.
A launching event,
in the Rwandan capital Kigali, attracted 2,500 people, including
young mothers, youth, representatives from civil society
organizations, the United Nations, non-governmental
organizations and government agencies.
Diane Gashumba told the event that the campaign focuses on
mobilizing citizens, especially women of reproductive age, to
access HIV prevention services to stop new HIV infections among
children and keep their mothers alive.
ensures that pregnant women access early antenatal care and
receive prevention of mother-to-child transmission services at
health facilities across the country,” she added.
According to her,
the “Free to Shine Rwanda” campaign targets zero new infections
by 2020 and possible eradication of mother-to-child transmission
In 2011, the
minister said, Rwanda launched the national campaign for
elimination of mother-to-child transmission, and the
transmission rate has since dropped from 4.3 percent in 2011 to
1.5 percent this year.