Removal of asbestos gathers momentum in UR campuses– the turn of Huye Campus

#MURANGWA Darius 20-06-2020

The university of Rwanda recently kicked off the removal of Asbestos in all its campuses’ buildings. The Work to replace asbestos roofing at UR Huye Campus, the biggest of all the nine (9) UR campuses has commenced in with the former School of Science buildings as the starting point. The UR – Huye campus is listed among public institutions with a high number of Asbestos material square meters. According to Juvenal NSENGIYUMVA, Campus Director of Assets and Services Management, there are a total of about 38 000 square meters to be covered by removal and replacement activities.

One of the building at Huye Campus after the removal of asbestos

The total cost for the entire work is estimated at around One Billion Rwandan Francs, which is budgeted for in the 2020/2021 financial year. Rwanda Housing Authority under direct supervision from the Ministry of Infrastructure is the government organ responsible for the job.

Infrastructure Minister Gatete Claver recently told the media that by the end of 2020, all government buildings with asbestos will no longer have these harmful roofing on them. He sated with confidence that required budget for the work has been earmarked.

According to information provided by Rwanda Housing Authority on its website Asbestos roofing material is harmful to human health. The website carries the following statement :

"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 Asbestos is, 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."

Story by
Eugene Hagabimana
In charge of Communication and Community Engagement