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Rwanda to implement stringent air quality standards

Rwanda to implement stringent air quality standards

Rwanda is on the brink of adopting stringent emission standards to protect the environment and people from the adverse effects of air pollution. The draft standards were developed by Rwanda Standards Board (RSB) through its relevant technical committees and are currently up for public review until 16th June 2019, after which they may be formally adopted by the Government for implementation and enforcement by the relevant agencies. You may view the draft standards on the following links and provide any comments to RSB by the given deadline:

  1. DRS 407-1: 2019 Emission limits – Specification Part 1: Road Vehicles
  2. DRS 407-2: 2019 Emission limits — Specification Part 2: Non-road mobile machinery
  3. DRS 407-3: 2019 Emission limits — Specification Part 3: Thermal power plants

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition to Reduce Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (CCAC) partnered with Rwanda’s Ministry of Environment and the Environmental Compliance Institute (ECI) to provide expert assistance to RSB and the technical committees during development of the standards. The draft standards were endorsed by stakeholders at a workshop convened in Kigali on 8th March 2019.

Rwanda to implement stringent air quality standards

Whereas the air quality in Rwanda is fairly good compared to many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, industrial activity, motor traffic density and human population continue to grow especially in the capital city, Kigali, hence the increasing concern about air pollution. Recent studies shows that the levels of PM and NOX in Kigali city are well above WHO guideline values. The elevated background concentrations of PM2.5 in Kigali City are mainly attributed to domestic stoves. On the other hand, high PM and NOX levels close to busy roads in the city  point to motor vehicles as the main source.

Rwanda’s air quality is expected to deteriorate in the near future as the country becomes more developed in terms of urbanization, industrialization and population explosion. It is anticipated that emissions from sectors such as energy generation, manufacturing, transportation and domestic sources will only exacerbate air pollution in the country if no policy and regulatory interventions are put in place. It is this realization that prompted the passage of the Law Governing the Preservation of Air Quality and Prevention of Air Pollution in Rwanda (2016). These new standards, once adopted, will enable the effective implementation and enforcement of this law.

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