In line with keeping the City of Kigali clean and green, police has reminded drivers and road users to always refrain from throwing or dumping waste in unauthorised places, which contravenes the law on environmental protection.
In an interview, the spokesperson for Traffic and Road Safety Department in Rwanda National Police (RNP), Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Emmanuel Kabanda, said that part of ensuring road safety is maintaining cleanliness along roads and “this can only be done by ensuring the public doesn’t litter objects or waste on streets.”
“Dumping wastes on sidewalks and streets either while walking or throw them through car windows is prohibited and punishable by law…. However, as part of our mandate, we always opt to educate and remind the public about the laws as a preventive rather than imposing the law,” CIP Kabanda said.
He added: “The reason we keep sensitizing the public is because the country has invested a lot in ensuring total cleanliness; this kind of investment can’t be put to waste, that is why we encourage them to always use trash cans placed by the roadside and also own the responsibility of keeping our cities and country clean.”
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.
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.
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.”
“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 - and the law,” said the traffic spokesperson.
In the same context CIP Kabanda also reminded the public that it is illegal to trespass in areas gazetted as ‘special green spaces’.
Police and the City of Kigali are frequently engaged in joint campaigns geared towards safety and beautification of the city.