I. Project Background
Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral made up of strong fibers, durable and fire resistant, with a very thinness of 1/5,000 of human hair which has been mixed into many construction materials for a long period of time.
With its utilization in construction materials and the long exposure, the inhalation of the asbestos fibers causes serious and severe diseases such as Asbestosis, Lung Cancer and Mesothelioma related to human lung and respiratory system.
It is from 1980, that the information and knowledge about asbestos health risks and diseases were spread from international medical and scientific researches. Since then, the use of asbestos fibers and different asbestos containing materials were banned in different countries.
In Rwanda, the asbestos legal banning was by the Prime Minister's Order NÂ°27/03 of 23/10/2008 determining a list of prohibited drugs unless authorized or temporary permitted.
In 2009, the Government of Rwanda took the Resolution to eradicate all asbestos containing materials from buildings in order to protect the inhabitants from the health risks of suffering from asbestos related diseases.
Starting from 2011, Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) with various stakeholders (government and private) is implementing the National Action Plan of Asbestos Eradication from buildings as established by the High Level Consultative Meeting of 18th April 2011.
In 2015, the Government of Rwanda established the Prime Minister's Instructions No 002/03 of 05/05/2015 determining procedure for eradication of asbestos materials in Rwanda.
II. Project Objectives
The overall objective of the National Action Plan established in 2011, is to protect the Rwandan citizens from asbestos diseases caused by long time exposure and inhalation of the asbestos fibers.
The main objectives of the Asbestos Removal Project are summarized as follows:
1. To remove and eradicate the total asbestos roofs and ceilings from buildings in the country,
2. To protect general public and workerâ€™s health by minimizing the diseases and the deaths caused by asbestos fiber inhalation,
3. To dispose the asbestos wastes in an environmental and proper manner.
III. Project Activities
Since the beginning of its activities in 2011, the Asbestos Removal Project under Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) has safely removed and disposed the asbestos containing materials from buildings at the progress is at 57% by 28/02/2019.
The main project activities of the Asbestos Removal Project are:
1. Conduct the public awareness on asbestos and its health hazards,
2. Conduct the awareness and mobilizations to remove asbestos from buildings,
3. Train institutions and personnel on asbestos, its health risks, procedures and techniques to remove and dispose asbestos,
4. Issue the authorization to remove and dispose the asbestos from buildings,
5. Supervise and inspect the asbestos removal and disposal from buildings,
6. Prepare the asbestos burial sites used to dispose the removed asbestos,
7. Manage, monitor and inspect the utilization of the asbestos burial sites,
8. Test with appropriate methods and techniques the asbestos from construction materials,
9. Guide other institutions in planning, execution and supervision of the asbestos eradication in the country,
10. Conduct research on asbestos and its health risks,
11. Monitor and evaluate the asbestos eradication in the country,
12. Provide technical support to institutions on matters related to asbestos and its eradication.