The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), Rwanda National Police (RNP) and the Rwanda Standards Board have today September 5, 2021 launched a campaign to further raise awareness on air pollution and fuel emission control measures.
The awareness which also involves mass testing of vehicle emissions is in line with the International Day of Clean Air for Blue Skies which is marked annually on September 7.
"Research findings on the sources of air pollution show that the transport sector and wood and charcoal burning are the key sources of air pollution in Rwanda, followed by industries" says Juliet Kabera, Director General, Rwanda Environment Management Authority
The campaign as well as testing fuel emissions aim to raise awareness of the sources and impacts of air pollution and joint efforts and innovation to improve air quality and to protect human health.
The Government of Rwanda and its partners have taken significant strides in identification of air pollution sources and air quality monitoring at national level, with a particular attention to Kigali, the capital city.
In 2018, electric motorcycles and electric cars were introduced to Rwandan market in line with clean transport through e-mobility initiatives, and now, two electric motorcycle companies (Ampersand Company Ltd and Safe Ltd) are registered to operate in Rwanda.
In the same year, electric vehicles debuted in Rwanda through a partnership between Volkswagen and Siemens under a pilot project. In additional to e-mobility, the Government is heavily investing in renewable energies (Hydropower plants, methane gas power plants and solar power systems).
The Kigali City Council also introduced the Kigali Car free days done twice a month and once a month in secondary cities where citizens engage in physical activity. In 2017, it was identified that PM2.5 and PM10 concentrations near car free roads reduced by approximately 50% on the car free days according to REMA's National Inventory on Sources of Air pollution.
The Government of Rwanda’s commitment to preserving air quality and fighting air pollution has also led to the adoption of laws and regulations including the Ministerial Order N°003/16.01 of 15/07/2010 and the 2016 Air Quality Law. Air Quality Law in 2016 which sets the framework for regulation and the prevention of air pollution in Rwanda.
This law mandates REMA to regulate air quality and to improve the health and well-being for the people; and as stipulated, REMA is tasked to report on the status of air quality in Rwanda and strategies to address air pollution. It is supplemented by the Law on Environment and new 2019 National Policy on Environment and Climate Change.
National standards on air emissions, vehicle and industrial emissions have also been developed by Rwanda Standards Board (RSB). In addition, through Rwanda’s NDC, Rwanda commits to build extensive and affordable public transport networks and increase progress on the electric mobility shift (e-moto & EVs). Implementation of the Environment and Climate Change policy actions aligned with Rwanda’s Vision 2050 also remains a priority.