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RWANDA: Kigali Master Plan to reduce environmental threats

Rwanda is considered as one of the fastest growing economies in Central Africa with urban population growth last reported at 4.48 percent in 2010.

Rwanda is considered as one of the fastest growing economies in Central Africa. According to a World Bank report released in 2011, the urban population growth (annual %) in Rwanda was last reported at 4.48 in 2010. That growth is reflected in the expansion of Kigali, illustrated by the constructions to accommodate the constantly increasing population.

Making sure that the growth of the cities in Rwanda and Kigali city in particular does not jeopardize the environment is one of the biggest concerns of the planners of the city of Kigali, because the contrary would be bad not only for the environment but also dangerous for the people.

Currently, the city is causing some challenges to the environment mostly due to its previous expansion that was not well planned and was taking place in a disorganized manner. “People built wherever they could find available plots: on steep hills, in wetlands,” remarked Geoffrey Kyatuka, environmental planning expert for the City of Kigali. Kyatuka showed that even those who were doing some economic activities like mining were doing it without proper plans and methods, which caused the degradation of the lands. “This is why we see people’s houses and lives destroyed by rains on the slopes of hills and floods in valleys, because residences and economic activities were put in places such as wetlands that are responsible for regulating water flow,” explained Kyatuka.

But another big challenge that is facing the city currently is waste disposal. “The rubbish is collected and transported, but disposing of it is another matter,” said Innocent Kabenga, an expert on environment and the assistant regional project manager of the Nile Basin Initiative, a cooperative venture between nations who share the waters of the Nile River to achieve water security and avert conflicts over water resources.




Current Issue: Africa Water & Sanitation & Hygiene March-April 2017 Vol.12 No.2