|REMA assesses the economic impact of the 2012 wet season flooding in Rwanda for future adaptation and mitigation actions.|
Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) is conducting a study to quantify in monetary terms the losses incurred from the 2012 wet season flooding in order to provide economically sound advice on future adaptation and mitigation actions.
“We need to determine the economic impact of the 2012 wet season rains in order to develop strategies and programmes of action for adaptation and mitigation against future losses within the EDPRS-II framework, “said Mrs. Laetitia Busokeye, Director of Research and Environmental Planning at REMA,during the workshoporganized by REMA on 11th June 2013to validate the draft report of the study.
Presenting the draft report to participants at the validation workshop, Dr. Alfred BIZOZA, consultant of SESMEC Ltd, a consultancy firm which is conducting the research; said thatfindings of the study showed that severe flooding occurred inNyabihu, Ngororero and Nyamagabe Districts as well as the agricultural valleys of Mukungwa, Nyabarongo, Akanyaru and Akagera rivers; with evidence of submerged and uprooted crop damage and serious threats to human life, property, road, public utility infrastructure as well as industrial installations.
According to this study, the 2012 wet season flooding occasioned 37 deaths,agricultural losses estimated at 42,207,058 Rwf, livestock losses of 3,897,000Rwf,land related losses of 1,330,093 sqm and 4,285,091,200Rwf of infrastructural losses. Apart from this, the 2012 flooding also caused the destruction of agricultural assets such as irrigation channels mostly in the valleys.
As many respondents of this study said that floods were due to human destruction of trees, air pollution,inappropriate cultivation and mining practices, inadequate habitation, among other causes;Dr. Alfred BIZOZAproposed that to combat flooding Rwanda should focus on tree plantation, soil erosion control, revising the habitation and the cultivation approaches as well as relocatingpeople from high-risk zones to non-risk areas; among others measures.
“If really some good strategies in terms of good settlement are already put in place, this would reduce floodsoccurrences, “he noted during the workshop.
Mrs. Laetitia Busokeye, Director of Research and Environmental Planning at REMA commended the consultancy firm for the work done and urged them to incorporate in the final report the ideas provided by participants at the workshop.
Thisresearch evaluated the economic costs in monetary terms of the 2012 floods on agricultural production, household livelihoods, and development infrastructure in most affected regions of Rwanda.
The main wet season of 2012 brought much higher rainfall in the country than expected, with most meteorological stations recording more than double rainfall amounts in the first 10 days of May 2012 compared with the long-term average for the same period. It caused widespread flooding, severe erosion, landslides, crop loss, destruction of road infrastructure and property around the country and in some parts, the highest cost of human life.
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