The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have launched the use of cooking gas in Nyarushishi transit centre, in Rusizi District, to improve health and reduce environmental damage caused by the use of firewood. The new gas program was launched by Hon. Mme. De Bonheur Jeanne d’Arc, the newly appointed Minister of MIDIMAR, and Mr. Ben Boubacar Diallo, UNHCR Head of Field Office, and was accompanied by officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure, Ministry of Environment and the Western Province among others.
“It was observed that we used to spend much money in buying firewood, affecting other development activities. It also affects our forest cover, breeding erosion and other disasters which leave lives and environment susceptible to destruction,” she said.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees said tha it has been taking Rwf900 million every year to buy firewood, but now it will take a half of the budget and the rest will go in development activities.
As the first phase of the new pilot project, Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees will replace firewood with a more sustainable, clean alternative cooking fuel: gas. The pilot will cover two transit centres, Kijote and Nyarushishi, which are receiving Rwandans coming home after living as refugees in other countries. The pilot will also cover cooking fuel needs for two internment camps hosting and rehabilitating former combatants, Ngoma and Gisovu. The MIDIMAR has partnered with IPRC Kigali to manufacture the equipment to use gas for cooking to replace firewood for this pilot project.
The Express News