Scarcity of public toilets in Kigali could soon become a thing of the past

A public washroom at a smart public kiosk at Rwandex in Kigali. Similar facilities are coming up in different parts of the city. Photo/Craish Bahizi.

There are currently 31 public washrooms in the City of Kigali.

This presents a major challenge for a metropolis of an estimated 1.2 million people. Particularly, there are barely public lavatories along major roads across the city.

“I recently felt like using the ladies’ room while I was going to Nyabugogo, but was disheartened by the idea that there is hardly a public toilet on that road”, one Carine told Saturday Times.

Authorities have previously even implored establishments like hotels to allow in passers-by to use their washrooms, but this has not eased the situation.

But scarcity of public toilets in the city could soon be a thing of the past as authorities move to increase public lavatories to at least 118 by the end of the current fiscal year. Rwanda’s financial year runs from July through June.

Petrol stations are some of the places with most public toilets, while the city has also engaged private investors and a veteran group, Rwanda Ex-combatants’ Benefits Union (REBU), to construct more such facilities.

REBU is expected to construct some 39 public toilets along major roads, while 16 others are under construction at filling stations, according to Nadine Umutoni Gatsinzi, city Vice Mayor in charge of Socioeconomic Affairs.

REBU has already completed one public lavatory at Rwandex along the African Union Road, as part of a new concept that includes roadside modern kiosks and coffee shops.

Urban districts have also joined in the effort and are working with investors to put up more sanitation facilities, officials said.

Felicie Tombola, CoK Media and Communications Officer, said the plan also includes the maintenance aspect to ensure hygiene of the facilities. Every user will be required to pay Rwf100 which will go towards maintenance costs, she said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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