The European Union (EU) in Rwanda has awarded Rwandan citizens who choose to walk or bike to their workplaces as part of personal contribution to reducing Green House Gas (GHE) emissions in the country.
The award ceremony held at the EU offices in Kigali, witnessed Rwandan journalist Daddy Sadiki Rubangura (of umuseke.com) winning the first category which required walking to and from home or office to avoid GHGs.
Rubangura individually avoided GHG emissions amounting to 52,948.8 grams beating others in this category which had many competitor. He was followed by Dr. Kadir Mamataliev (27,630.0 grams) in second place and Felicien Hirwa Tuzayisenga (27,536.6 grams) in 3rd place.
In the second category for most emissions avoided by cycling the individual winners were won by Manoj Skariah (6,200) in 1st place; Antoinette Kabanyana (4,500) in 2nd place and Douwe Dijkstra (4,000) 3rd place.
In the third category for the group winners of top teams or organisations with most GHG emissions avoided in 1st place was Deva Clinic (27,465.6gms); 2nd place Hotpoint Appliances (24,246.8gms); 3rd place Community-based Sociotherapy (12,761.8gms).
To participate in this competition, one needed to register via this link; https://walkandcycle.rw/participate/ and then to use their smartphone to record the details of their journey done (start to end).
The system would calculate how much carbon gases they have omitted and the distance they have made within one month period.
The top three winners for each category received their certificates & sponsored prizes which included a one-month subscription at Waka Sports Club, Free Tours and Mountain Bike Tickets with GoKigali Tours and City Buddz Mount Kigali Mountain Biking respectively and free yoga and brunch at Quiet Haven Hotel.
The prize-giving ceremony for the Africa Mobility Month Rwanda Campaign winners was presided over by Ben Nupnau, the Deputy Head of mission and Head of Political and Information at EU Rwanda.
Nupnau said the action is inserted in the overall policies and cooperation between the European Union and Rwanda to jointly lead in the fight against climate change, by taking concrete actions to turn the obligations under the Paris Agreement into timely emission reductions on the ground.
“Together, we promoted the use of walking and cycling to work, in order to contribute towards reducing Green House Gas emissions (GHG) as well as continued & increased investment into facilities that can accommodate commuters and the needs of communities,” Nupnau said.
Rubangura, one of the winners and Head of Rwanda Environment Journalists Network (RNEJ) said:
“When your why is more important than your how, nothing can be out of your reach. That’s to mean if you really want to do something and you know why you want to do it, how you are going to do it doesn’t matter much because when you start you will eventually find a way,”
The organizers concluded the first campaign month with a car free day exercise session in Kigali and announced that the cumulative total of GHG emissions avoided as a result of the month-long campaign will be announced next week.
One of the benefits associated with reducing greenhouse gas emissions is an improvement in air quality. Air quality is improved by electrifying transportation because emissions from vehicles are a significant part of smock and urban air pollution.
Rwanda is currently engaged in trying to reduce these emissions through the monthly car free days, restricted and designated car free zones, which have spread from Kigali city throughout major secondary cities across the country attracting a large number of pro-environment protection citizen’s participation.
This is expected to match efforts in which Rwanda became the first developing country to submit a revised Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which will cost about $11 billion in reduction of around 4.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) in 2030.