Low awareness hinders waste management in Huye district

Even though waste mismanagement negatively affects the environment, Huye is one of Rwandan districts, where people have low awareness on waste management; a threat to environment.

This is revealed by some people who said they that they are not aware of waste collection regarding the distinguish of decomposed wastes and others that cannot.

Ruth Mukamana is one of UR-Huye Campus cleaners.
“Nothing much about waste separation, sometimes we separate decomposed from non-decomposed ones, but often we dispose them together or burn them together”, she says.

Although Mukamana mentions burning waste, Sylvie Mugabekazi, Environmental scientist insists that waste should not be burned except hazardous materials like those from hospitals.

Poor waste management is not only an issue for people themselves, but also companies in charge of waste collection are not aware enough, as COFAB company reveals.

“The separation of wastes is not applied here, they are packed non-conditionally, however it takes place at landfill, but we know nothing about disposition processes of non-decomposed waste”, Eric Bigirimana, one of waste collectors claims.

Despite the low awareness on waste management, Huye district Mayor, Ange Sebutege says there are measures related to the waste management taken.

“There is ongoing sensibilisation and punishments to the offenders; we even convince people that its for their interests to get rid of waste where they live, so that they may have a clean city. Every Tuesday, we have hygienic morning, in campaign to last an entire year with the theme hygiene everywhere, hygiene starts from me the message in the theme is that hygiene should begin from the individual”, he says.

According to science, waste mismanagement is a big threat to the environment because they can produce some chemical gases which cause pollutions. After waste collection there should follow the step of separating decomposed from non-decomposed, before disposing them in landfills separately.
In reference to 2003 Rwandan Constitution revised in 2015, article 22 says Every citizen has right to a clean environment. Addition to this, article 53 emphasizes that every citizen has an obligation of protecting environment.

By Aimable Ishimwe, Liliane Niyigena and Augustin Niyonkuru