Public warned against littering

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In order to see Kigali city environmentally compatible with the REMA regulations and county by-laws, the city dwellers have been warned against dumping waste in unauthorised places, which contravenes the law on environmental protection.

This warning follows cases where people dump waste on sidewalks and streets either while walking or throw them through car windows.

Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Celestin Twahirwa, Commissioner for Community Policing in RNP cautioned the public about the legal provisions against littering.

The call is also in line with the existing security and hygiene mechanisms.

ACP Twahirwa urged them to always use garbage cans that are placed across streets.

“Rwanda has invested a lot in ensuring total cleanliness; this kind of investment can’t be put to waste, that is why we encourage members of the public to always use trash cans placed by the roadside and also own the responsibility of keeping our cities clean,” said ACP Twahirwa in an interview.

He made a reference to the organic law determining the modalities of protection, conservation and promotion of environment in Rwanda that defines waste as any substance whether solid, liquid or gaseous resulting from household activities, from manufacturing plants or any abandoned movable or immovable property, and which may be harmful.

“Article 32 of this organic law stipulates that, no one is permitted to dispose waste in an inappropriate place, except where it is destroyed from or in a treatment plant and after being approved by competent authorities,” ACP Twahirwa recited the law.

He pointed out that litter can build up and attract insects that bring unwanted germs and disease to the ecosystems, which can as well be a security issue.

“Littering has many effects; waste that has not been disposed properly can affect human lives and the environment and this is why we normally have Umuganda – monthly communal work – laws punishing littering” said the commissioner.

He further cited article 107 of the mentioned organic law which states that “any person who deposits, abandons or dumps waste, materials, or who pours sewage in a public or private place, is punished by a fine ranging from Rwf10.000 to Rwf100.000 except if such a place has been designated by competent authorities.”

It adds in part that: “The person is punished by a fine of Rwf10.000 or he or she may be compelled to clean the place where persons have polluted public or private property with human and domestic waste, except if such a place has been designated by the competent authorities.”

According to ACP Twahirwa, these fines can easily be avoided by not dumping trash anywhere.

“We wish to inform the public that in partnership with all concerned stakeholders, we encourage people to be on the lookout for anyone who may dump waste on the streets like cigarette butt and water bottles, which are jointly fighting against,” said the Commissioner.



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