Residents of Kamenge, Nyabugogo, have accused their local leadership of siding with the proprietor of Kigali Cement Company in shelving the pollution problem caused by the company’s operations.
The residents, who talked to The New Times, said that they have informed the local authorities but so far no solution had been provided.
“Those in authority have come here several times and they know how much we are suffering, but it seems that the man pays them and they keep quiet.” one resident who preferred anonymity said. “We want higher authorities to intervene in this matter.”
Kigali Cement Company is owned by Jean Ndayambaje.
They allege that the factory gives off lime dust and the heavy machinery used has led to cracks on the walls of their houses.
“Our children have respiratory and skin problems and we fear leaving the kids alone in the house because we are scared that the walls may fall on them,” a community member said.
The residents also accused the factory staff of dumping waste water from the factory into their sources of water.
When contacted, Ndayambaje refuted the claims saying the residents are only being stubborn. “I have paid most of these people but some of them have refused to move away and they ask for large sums of money that don’t match their property,” he said.
When contacted by The New Times, Nyarugenge Mayor, Theophila Nyirahonora, said they were working around the clock to solve the matter.
“We are aware of the issues. We even at one time stopped him and we asked REMA to take up the case and see if residents are threatened then we can decide whether to stop him completely or ask him to pay the residents to leave the area,” the Mayor said.
She revealed that they will be having a meeting on Wednesday in which REMA and RBS will deliver the final verdict.