The City of Kigali has warned against polluters who are dumping waste into wetlands, rivers and drainages. The warning was issued following the inspection that caught some wetland polluters red-handed in different districts. ALSO READ: Rwanda's top polluters named Some vehicles were caught dumping waste in inappropriate sites in Gatenga sector, Kicukiro district while others were found dumping waste in Rwandex wetland. The polluters were found in Gasabo district in inspections carried out from February 28 to March 7. “A vehicle was caught dumping waste products in the Gatenga sector while Jonathan Niyoyita, resident from Gasabo district was found dumping waste in Rwandex wetland in Gicukiro district,” a warning by the city of Kigali says. ALSO READ: Over 20 per cent of Kigali city wetlands need rehabilitation The report by Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) also shows that in January this year washing vehicles in wetlands; people dumping soil in wetlands were arrested. “Such polluting activities affect their pristine nature,” REMA said. Study, in 2020, by Albertine Rift Conservation Society (ARCOS Network) showed that over 40 per cent of wetlands have lost their quality due to pollution and encroachment. The area of wetlands in Kigali city has decreased from 100 square kilometers to 77 square kilometres. Prohibited activities in wetlands According to law on environment number 48/2018 of 13/08/2018, dumping any solid, liquid waste or hazardous gaseous substances in a stream, river, swamp, pond, lake and in their surroundings is prohibited. Piling soil and any other materials in wetlands, compacting or changing the nature of the wetland, building in the swamp and in the buffer zone in a distance of 20 metres away from the swamp boundaries, introducing plants or animal species whether alien or indigenous into wetlands without prior authorization of the competent authority are prohibited. Also prohibited include carrying out any activity, except that related to research and science in reserved swamps among others. The wetland polluting activities are cracked down as the city gears up efforts to restore five degraded wetlands in Kigali. Restoring the five wetlands is part of the second phase of Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDP II) funded by the World Bank. According to studies, the implementation of Kigali City wetland master plan would generate over $155 million annually. There are about 37 interconnected wetlands in Kigali City with a total area of about 9,160 hectares or about 12.5 percent of the city’s land mass. The current economic value of the wetlands ecosystem services on 9,160 hectares is $74.2.