Gasabo takes on garages

GASABO - Efforts by Gasabo District authorities to relocate garages from Nyabugogo wetland in Gatsata, a Kigali City suburb, remain in balance.
A garage on the banks of Nyabugogo river. (Photo J. Mbanda).
A garage on the banks of Nyabugogo river. (Photo J. Mbanda).

GASABO - Efforts by Gasabo District authorities to relocate garages from Nyabugogo wetland in Gatsata, a Kigali City suburb, remain in balance.

While garage owners complain that they have not yet secured places where to relocate their businesses, authorities and environmentalists continue to worry about the effects these garages are causing to the wetland.

However, Gasabo District Mayor Claudine Nyinawagaga said on Thursday that a site had been identified in Masoro, Ndera Sector, where the garages could be shifted to. She was speaking at the celebrations to mark World Environment Day in Gatsata Sector.

The mayor further explained that the garage owners through their own cooperative had already earmarked Frw150 million for the construction of modern garages at the new site. But some garage owners are planning to replace the current facilities with modern ones instead of shifting.

The garage owners are grouped into a cooperative named Icyerekezo, but internal wrangles have given rise to another association named Association du Garages des Gatsata (AGG).

The latter is composed of members who are said to be in low-income earning category while the former is said to be composed of members who are relatively better-off.

Some told this reporter that they broke away from Icyerekezo because some members had imposed on them a requirement to raise a certain amount of money to construct a modern garage to replace the substandard ones in the same area (Nyabugogo).

“They asked us to part with a hefty sum which many of us cannot afford,” one member of the AGG said, insisting that they would fight for their rights.

“They say those of us who will not afford the money will have to leave.”

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