Rubavu district officials are looking for investors to upgrade Kivu public beach to international standards and also turn the street leading to it into a car free zone for recreational and business opportunities. Located on the shores of Kivu Lake as a ‘backdrop’ of fresh water, sand and sardines, the beach is one of the tourism destinations in Western Rwanda. The over 800 meter-long beach draws a lot of people, estimated at 1000 to 1500 per day and 3500 to 4000 during weekends from across the country and DR Congo. Why is the beach being privatized? Kivu public beach has been under the management of Rubavu district for the past few years but is short of good infrastructure for revelers and people who want to play games. Currently, the district says it is looking for investors to develop the beach and the road leading to it into a car free zone by establishing a visitor’s center, car park, cafes, shops and other recreational activities. ALSO READ: REMA warns of water pollution in Lake Kivu Improved sports zone area, spectator and sanitation facilities, boat packing area, water sports and swimming as well as children playing zone are other proposed infrastructures that will be put in place. The beach presently is divided into three main parts: sports, events and a children’s playground. Concerts, meetings and weddings are some of the main activities that happen at the beach. Emmanuel Mwiseneza, the Investment Promotion and Financial Services Officer for Rubavu District says the district has chosen to privatize it so as to benefit locals and tourists visiting the district to stay longer. “It is in line with increasing tourists who have multiple roles in the district development and the country in general. We want to help local people and foreigners visiting the district to have different products that help them stay longer,” he said. Tourists, Locals weigh in on proposed plans Bethany Magnuson, a US national who works for an NGO based in the district, welcomed the initiative to develop the beach adding that security around the area also needs to be boosted. “I enjoy coming to the lake just to relax, to do yoga and running. It’s a nice public place where you can go for reading or swimming but I think if security is improved, it will be more helpful,” She said. Bethany went on to suggest that a ‘changing room’ should be added for swimmers and people who want to work out. Jean Bosco Nkurikiyinka, a finance Manager at Hill View Hotel said they host VIPs at the hotel but they don’t like using the beach because of the bad infrastructure in place. “It is very difficult for VIPs to go swimming in the public beach as there are no bathrooms, enough security and changing rooms.” ALSO: Rubavu in early preps for Ironman 70.3 Triathlon race The Mayor of Rubavu District, Ildephonse Kambogo told The New Times that they expect more revenue after developing facilities around the beach and surrounding areas. Kivu Beach is amongst many tourism destinations in Rubavu district. The others are Amashyuza (hot springs) in Nyamyumba sector and Mount Rubavu.