Rwanda is faced with wide-ranging challenges and problems of environmental degradation. Home to about 11 million people, Rwanda is amongst the most densely populated country in Africa.
Influx of refugees adds to this population density burden and reinforces the already intense population pressure on the environment causing depletion of natural resources as well as exacerbating land scarcity problems.
This project seeks to ensure the protection and welfare of refugees and asylum seekers in Rwanda. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee (MIDIMAR) on behalf of the Government of Rwanda ensures the protection of refugees and asylum seekers. Over 80% of the refugees’ population is located in six refugee camps of Rwanda, while just under 20% of the population lives in the greater urban areas of Kigali and Huye.
Numbers of refugees in camps:
In response to the recommendation of December 31, 2011, to declare the cessation clause for Rwandan refugees, and in an effort to ensure sustained return and reintegration opportunities for Rwandan returnees “the Sustainable Return and Reintegration of Rwandan Returnees was launched on the 29th November 2012”.
Through coordinated efforts, the Government of Rwanda through the overall coordination of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee MIDIMAR and the One UN in Rwanda developed a three year Joint Program to address specific needs of Rwandan returnees.
We are a happy family after returning in our home country and getting our own house
Under the Sustainable Return and Reintegration Project of MIDIMAR, 75 houses were provided to most vulnerable Rwandan returnees. NDAGIJIMANA Jean Baptiste, 52, married to UWIMANA Alivera, 35, with 3 children is the beneficiary who received one of those houses.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees, under the project “UNTFHS-Strengthening Human Security by Enhancing Resilience to Natural Disasters and Climate-Related Threats in Ngororero District”, trained the Members of the Sector Disaster Management Committees (SEDIMAC) in Ngororero District to increase their capacities in mitigating the risks of Disasters and strengthening awareness on laws related to the disaster risk management.
The Hon. DE BONHEUR Jeanne d’Arc, Minister of Disaster Management and Refugees, paid a courtesy call on Mugombwa (Gisagara District) and Kigeme (Nyamagabe District) refugee camps from 15th to 16th November, 2017 to engage implementing partners and refugees to discuss the later living conditions.
In both refugee camps located in Southern Province, Hon. Minister stopped at different facilities and infrastructures in the camps including but not limited to shelters, schools, water and sanitation, health centre and environmental protection activities.
On Monday October 30, 2017, the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) received 1,900 iron sheets from Trocaire Rwanda as a support to the families whose houses were damaged by heavy rain which devastated some parts of the country since August, 2017.
The Minister of MIDIMAR, Hon. De Bonheur Jeanne d’Arc together with the UNHCR Representative to Rwanda, Mr. Ahmed Baba Fall and other implementing partners visited Kiziba Congolese refugees’ camp on 29th September, 2017 to assess the living conditions of refugees in Kizaba camp.
Visiting Kiziba Refugee camp, oldest camp in Rwanda and a home to 17,166 Congolese, Hon. De Bonheur Jeanne d’Arc stopped at different facilities available in the camp. She visited the water supplying facilities, health posts and classrooms used by students of different levels among others.
From 25th- 29th September, 2017, 15 Rwandan refugees exiled in different countries since 1994 participated in the “Come and See, Go and Tell” programme organized by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees in partnership with UNHCR.
In 2015 when RUGEMANGABO Eloge, the President of Executive Committee of Burindian Refugees in Mahama Camp, came in Rwanda with his compatriots seeking for protection, they had a little hope for their future. “Now we are very grateful to the Government of Rwanda and different implementing partners for a granted protection and restoring our hope for the future,” said Eloge during the courtesy visit of Minister of MIDIMAR, Hon. De Bonheur Jeanne d’Arc in Mahama camp on 20th September, 2017.
On 19th September, 2017 - The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) intervened in Gicumbi District and provided support to the population affected by heavy rain that hit and destroyed their homes on Sunday 17th September, 2017.
The heavy rain destroyed more than 55 houses. It washed away family belongings that were in those houses. It left affected population under a great need of support.
On September 15, 2017 - The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) in partnership with UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) have launched the use of cooking gas in Nyarushishi transit centre, in Rusizi District, to improve health and reduce environmental damage caused by the excessive use of firewood.
The new gas program was launched by Hon. Mme De Bonheur Jeanne d’Arc and the UNHCR Head of Field Office, Mr. Ben Boubacar Diallo, .
On Wednesday, 16th August, 2017, the Ministry of Disaster Management and refugees handed 8 houses to 8 families residing in Cyanzarwe Sector, Rubavu District whose houses were destroyed by heavy rains and wind in 2010.
The houses were given to these families as a response to disasters that deeply affected the population. Further, to lift them from extreme poverty they were enforced to be in after the destruction of their houses.
In the evening of Monday 1st May 2017, ten Rwandan refugees from Zimbabwe, Uganda and Congo Brazzaville arrived in Rwanda for a three- day visit under the ‘Come and See, Go and Tell’ Program.
Most of them came expecting to see an unsecured and destroyed country. At their surprise, they found a new Rwanda that’s steaming ahead on the development, a country that is waiting to receive them with open arms.
The demand for energy in refugee camps has direct effects on the forests of Rwanda and the environment in general. Refugees being part of the Rwandan community now, they are reminded to be concerned with the environmental protection as well.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Refugees (MIDIMAR) is so much concerned about the use of firewood and charcoal which leads to deforestation and environmental problems in and around refugee camps.
Energy Saving Cooking Stove
This Wednesday 19 April 2017 - Two hundred seventy one Rwandan returnees from the Democratic Republic of Congo have been received in Kijote Transit Center located in the Kijote village of Bigogwe Sector, Nyabihu district. The center is in charge of receiving Rwandan returnees while waiting to be reintegrated into the community.
Ngororero, Fenreuary 16, 2017 - Eleven families in Kabaya Sector, Ngororero District, have been relocated from high risk zones to the model village in Kimiramba. The Hon. Mukantabana Seraphine, Minister of Disaster Management and Refugees and Mr. Lamin M. Manneh, UN Resident Coordinator, officially handed over the disaster resilient houses built under the One UN joint programme dubbed “Strengthening human security by enhancing resilience to natural disasters and climate-related threats in Ngororero District”. The construction of the houses was implemented by UN-HABITAT.
Kirehe District – 26 January 2017: Refugees in Mahama camp will access basic information and services on their health and wellbeing in two new durable health clinics, serving over 50,000 refugees from Burundi.
Kigali, December 20, 2016 - The Ministry of Refugees and Disaster Management (MIDIMAR) and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in Rwanda held a press conference in Kigali to recapitulate the key achievements in 2016 as well as progress towards the Comprehensive Solutions Strategy for Rwandan returnees. The Hon. Minister of MIDIMAR Mukantabana Serafine and UNHCR Representative in Rwanda Mr. Saber Azam both commended the work achieved while also acknowledging the generosity of donors who made the achievements possible.
Ngororero, December 1, 2016 - Residents of Ngororero District are set to benefit from a United Nations project aimed at strengthening human security, enhancing resilience and improving disaster risk management of high-risk communities and most vulnerable populations.