The City of Kigali yesterday unveiled a Rwf15.6 billion budget for 2014/15 fiscal year, and for the first time allocated a substantial amount of resources to build recreational facilities aimed at making the city more lively.
While debating the budget, city and district councillors called for even more resources to build facilities such as public parks, youth centres and recreational grounds.
The chairperson of the City Council, Dr Dieudonne Sebashongore, said Kigali City will not develop socially unless it takes into account the desires of its dwellers.
“Tell me any developed city in the world you would got to and never find a public park? The world has changed, we need to break cultural boundaries and develop socially as well,” he said.
Rwf 1.17 billion has been allocated to social development with Rwf25 million earmarked for the development of a cultural centre at Meraneza Park, in Nyarugenge District.
The Vice Mayor in charge of finance and economic development, Alphonse Nizeyimana, said several projects were under way.
“Studies and consultations are being made for the development of “Tapis Rouge” in Nyamirambo. We also want to develop wetlands into public parks, for example the Kimicanga wetland,” he revealed.
The city is also in consultations with local governments to develop youth and sports centres, in districts.
“Hopefully, each district around the city will have its own youth recreation centre,” he said.
Nizeyimana added that “Tapis Rouge” will be developed into a public swimming pool, and other sports facilities if consultations with the Ministry of Sports and Culture end successfully.
He added that the city, together with Rwanda Development Board (RDB), seek to develop Rebero Gardens in Kicukiro District into a cultural centre.
“RDB is championing that project which is expected to begin this year.”
According Sebashongore, infrastructure development alone does not make a complete city, saying there was also need for recreational facilities.
Kigali has only one public park almost outside the city on Mt Kigali which was built 10 years ago, but councillors said that it needs rehabilitation. There is also one Youth and sports centre in Kimisagara.
“Yes, Kigali is developing fast, and this means that people are also working very hard. I believe they need to have a place where they would go during work break, switch off from the world’s strain and rest. Those are the kind of facilities people should be finding in a city like ours,” he reiterated.
Hope Tumukunde, Vice Mayor in charge of social development, said that city is looking forward to having more public parks and recreation grounds through a gradual process.
“We are glad that the next financial year has a budget allocated for these social demands,” she said.
The biggest portion, of about 75 per cent, goes to infrastructure and economic development. Among the key areas to be funded are roads, energy, water and sanitation.
For example, a 15-km tarmac road project for Masaka-Kabuga, Kibagabaga-Kinyinya, Kabeza-Niboye, MINAGRI-Nyarutarama, RDB-Nyilinkwaya, Former ETO Muhima-Rubangura and Gisozi-Karuruma are estimated to cost Rwf4.5 billion.
There will be a 6-km project which will include, Camp Kanombe-Busanza- Rubilizi (Phase 1) as well as Rwinyana–Nyarugunga, routes that are projected to cost Rwf792 million.
The city plans to add a 50-km stone paved roads project that will cost Rwf1.2 billion.
Water and sanitation
Hygiene campaign will cost Rwf47 million, a Rwf181m incinerator for Nduba landfill, a water treatment plant at Nduba at Rwf276 million are also planned.
Rwf38 million have been put aside for energy source diversification which will include biogas digester.