By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU
Bugesera: 25th November, 2023: Belgium Team led by the Resident representative of Enabel Rwanda joined the Ministry of Health and resident of Bugesera District in particular to launch Green Hospital Initiative.
Through the initiative, the Ministry of Health targets to plant 2 million trees in hospitals, Health Centres, Health posts and surrounding areas.
Beyond Greening Hospitals, the Resident representative of Enabel Rwanda, Dirk Deprez added that the planted trees will also help in fighting against climate change, draught and protecting soil from erosion among others.
The event which took place at Ntarama Health Centre in Bugesera District was graced by various Ministries, and many other development partners whose role in Rwanda’s Development is invaluable.
Rwanda’s Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, Dr. Valentine Uwamariya speaking to the Community in Ntarama Sector, Bugesera District.
The launch of Green Hospital Initiative was also coincided with the launch of the 16 Days of Activism to End Gender Violence and create a safe family that also live in a safe and healthy environment.
Speaking at the event, the Minister of Health, Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, said that “Today, we are coming together as a community to initiate the 16 days of Activism to End Gender-Based Violence.”
This initiative aims to create a safe family. But also, we are planting trees to ensure that people live in a pleasant setting, characterized by trees and gardens.” Minister Nsanzimana added.
To accomplish this goal, the Ministry of Health devised a nationwide plan to plant a total of 2 million trees.
These trees will be planted in various locations, including 56 hospitals, 514 health centers, and 1252 health posts.
Rwanda’s Minister of Health alongside development partners commit to greening Hospitals across the country
Dr. Nsanzimana revealed that on the first day, only in Nyamata where the community work took place, about 1400 trees were planted.
“You should applaud all those who planted trees. But you understand that the journey is still long, in the whole country we have reached almost more than 20,000 trees but we are going to 2 million.” Dr. Nsanzimana said.
He explained the importance of greening hospitals and other areas, saying, “Research shows that trees or a green environment is considered a medicine.”
“There are many places where it has been seen that hospitals with good gardens allow patients to recover faster, often leaving the hospital two days earlier than expected.” Explained the Minister of Health.
He added that “Green spaces also reduce the occurrence of mental problems, commonly referred to as stress. Trees purify the air we breathe and ensure it is free from pollutants. Therefore, greening our places is highly beneficial.”
In an interview with TOP AFRICA NEWS, Dirk Deprez, Resident Representative of Belgian Development Agency, Enabel Rwanda, emphasized the significance of tree planting in the country.
He said, “We’ve been working for more than 15 years in forestation, reforestation together with the Ministry of Environment and Rwanda Forestry Authority.”
“We see that the context of Rwanda, where the use of charcoal and biomass for cooking is still very high, necessitates reforestation to conserve land and be resilient to climate change.” He explained.
Deprez also added that “Forests and trees provide oxygen, shade, water retention, and help maintain soil fertility. They contribute to a healthy life, access to food, and protection against heat and drought.”
Enabel Rwanda joins Health Ministry to Launch Green Hospital Initiative
Therefore, he concluded noting that “Greening forests and planting trees in urban and rural areas have a positive impact on public health.”
The launch of the 16 days of Activism against Gender Violence and the Green Hospital Initiative signifies Rwanda’s commitment to promoting gender equality, addressing climate change, and improving public health.