The Ministry of Infrastructure of the central African nation of Rwanda has announced that it will spend over Rwf 14bn ($23 million) on asbestos removal following last year’s ban on asbestos. Rwanda will be the first country in Africa to ban and remove all asbestos.
Public buildings throughout the country contain asbestos and, citing health risks to Rwandans, the government decided on removing the hazardous material. Many residents took it upon themselves to tear down and dispose of asbestos products in their homes, and the state has warned against this practice.
When inhaled, asbestos fibers can do serious damage to people, causing scarring in the lungs. This can lead to asbestosis, pleural plaques and even mesothelioma — an agressive and deadly cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure.
“We have conducted training for 25 companies that can be hired to remove the materials without causing damage,” said Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine.
The Ministry of Infrastructure issued a stern warning against poor disposal of the building materials and urged people to wait for the study by Canadian experts on proper disposal.“
Now that the study is complete, the state is looking for public and private cooperation to safely remove and dispose of asbestos and asbestos containing materials.
While studies show there are no short-term asbestos exposure symptoms, the long-term effects include cancer and other chronic illnesses. Asbestos exposure symptoms may take up to 40 years to appear after exposure.
For more information about what kinds of materials in your home may contain asbestos fibers and about asbestos treatment services that may protect your household, visit our Asbestos Information page.
Additionally, if you or a loved one has worked in a profession in which they were regularly exposed to asbestos, and your family is now dealing with a mesothelioma diagnosis, it may be worth pursuing a mesothelioma lawsuit that could result in a settlement. For more information on asbestos law, contact one of our mesothelioma attorneys.