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Kigali Car Free Day Focuses on Beating Bad Air

by Daniel Sabiiti
9:39 pm

Car Free Day

As part of preparations to celebrate the World Environment Day 2019, Rwanda’s car free day, this Sunday took a focus on educating citizens on how protecting the environment can help in fighting air pollution.

The Kigali Car Free Day was initiated three years ago (in 2016 )on the same argument of creating motor free space in the city of Kigali, to allow pedestrians breathe in fresh air.

This has been replicated in regional neigbours like Uganda and Kenya and as far as Zimbabwe.

As usual, children and adults of all walks of life were seen in sporting gear jogging, cycling, strolling and exercising in areas in Kigali city designated for the sporting event, which happens twice a month, and no motor engines allowed to move for at least four hours.

Dr. Colette Ruhamya, the Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), used the opportunity to remind citizens on effects of air pollution.

“By reducing air pollution we will also be reducing the diseases of stroke, heart diseases, lung cancer and other killer diseases,” Ruhamya said.

“Thank you all for joining the Car Free Day walk and exercise in Kigali to beat Air Pollution. Our small individual actions collectively can have bigger impacts. We all have something to offer for our clear air.”

Rwanda dedicated a week – May 25th through June 5th 2019 to the environment protection ahead of World Environment Day 2019, under the theme: Beat Air Pollution.

Eng Collette Ruhamya speaking at the Car free day today

The country has also since 2015, passed bylaws to import law Sulphur fuel (clean fuel) to avoid polluting the air with Sulphur oxides which cause respiratory diseases.

Rwanda has also successfully embarked on a process of eliminating 50 metric tonnes of remains of polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) compounds widely known for causing cancer and environmental pollution.

On entrepreneurship level, companies like Gura, a transportation network company based in Rwanda, is set in June to roll out electric bikes and scooters to tap into the country’s mobility and ride-sharing industry but also enhance on the air pollution fight.

The bikes will have docking and charging stations in Kigali city, Musanze and Rubavu districts for accessibility to all in major cities of Rwanda.