There is need of citizens’ participation in reviewing Kigali City’s Master plan so that its implementation is able to create affordable and decent housing for urban dwellers by 2050, city engineers have said.
The call was made during the launch of a citizen-centred governance program dubbed; “Governance We Want” designed by Rwanda Governance Board in the city of Kigali.
Eng. Fred Mugisha, Director of Urban Planning and Construction at One Stop Centre at City Hall, said the master plan review started four months ago and will close by April next year where citizens’ views are being included.
He said that so far they had received about 80,000 views from citizens to be considered in the review, including those considering their financial capacity while planning decent settlement.
“We seek to have 90 per cent citizens in Kigali having access to decent housing by 2050 whereby even those who rent can rent at affordable prices depending on their financial capacity. This requires citizens’ participation in the planning and implementation,” he said.
He said that 60 per cent of the decent housing will have to be affordable adding that in order to have such vision achieved there was need for regulating settlements according to the master plan.
“Kigali city has 730 square kilometers which serve for residential houses, infrastructure such as roads, recreational spaces, wetlands, forests among many others that have to be allocated space but the area is not increasing while the population is increasing. Therefore the master plan guides the settlement processes,” he said.
Currently there are 1.3 million people in Kigali City which is expected to increase to over 5 million population which could pose threats land reserved for other purposes
Mugisha said that the population increase requires residential houses in storied buildings so that other areas reserved for agricultural and recreational wetlands, forests, school and health facilities are not encroached.
He added that housing must go in line with improving transportation systems where by pedestrian ways must be designed.
Reserving tillable wetlands in the city
According to Patrick Karangwa, the Director General of Rwanda Agriculture Development Board (RAB), since population in the city continues to grow, so does demand for food.
“That is why the master plan also reserved tillable wetlands, especially for fruits and vegetables as urban dwellers will demand more food. These wetlands must be monitored by the master plan so that people do not encroach on them seeking settlements,” he said.
Dr Usta Kaitesi, the acting CEO of Rwanda Governance Board said that in order to implement the master plan, citizens must participate in its updating and implementation.
“Local leaders must consider citizens’ views in the planning processes and implementation of development programs,” she said.
The program “Governance we want” will be carried out in 17 selected districts in Southern province, Kigali city and Eastern Province