Environmental expert worried about urban territorial management

Following the heavy rain that has fallen in different localities of the country causing heavy causalities especially in Bujumbura city over the past few days, a disaster management expert suggests solutions to overcome the situation.

Léonidas Nibigira: « A regular control and monitoring is required to make the environmental protection mission a success”

Léonidas Nibigira, a disaster management expert says the issue can be analyzed in two main ways: “The first way is the management of the water flow while the second one is related to the management of everything transported by the water flow such as sand, stones,..” he says adding that the latter has also caused lots of damage in the country over the past few days.
“As Bujumbura city keeps being expanded, the run-off and drainage system should also be revised,” he says.

This environmentalist deplores the fact that most of the existing pipes are not functional. “They are no longer effective. The runoff must first be managed by reinforcing the drainage system of run-off,” he says.

Mr. Nibigira adds that it is also necessary to stop the uncontrolled constructions upstream of Bujumbura City to find a solution and let people erect houses according to building standards.
“There is also a need for validated studies which must make recommendations for both the decision-makers and the population to know how to behave in the event of a disaster,” he adds.
For him, the government should also move citizens who live in high-risk areas to form drainage channels, raise people’s awareness on how to behave in the event of a disaster and manage watersheds well.

This environmentalist expert calls on the Environment Ministry to give priority to the study of environmental impact. “Any activity that is carried out must be subject to an environmental impact study,” he says adding that it must be conducted independently and not by the main actors of the project. “A regular control and monitoring will be required to make the environmental protection mission a success”, he concludes.