In a bid to boost tourism, Musanze District has unveiled plans to build a man-made lake. The District, which is already home to a number of tourist attractions, said the building of a lake is one of seven projects that will be implemented in the near future.
People in the tourism and hospitality sector said the building of a lake in Musanze would bring more opportunities in the sector.
“The lake would be another tourist attraction, adding to mountain gorillas and the national park, which will increase the time tourists stay in Musanze,” said Aimable Sibomana, a manager at one of the hotels in Musanze.
“If someone spends three days visiting the park, gorillas and trekking, when there is a lake, he or she will spend four days. And that means a lot businesswise,” he said.
The projects which will cost an unspecified budget that will go in billions of francs, according to Andrew Rucyahana Mpuhwe, Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development, will be funded by different stakeholders, including international development partners.
He said the new projects will not only increase the number of tourists who visit Musanze but also have an impact on the economy.
“There are a number of projects we have selected that will highlight the theme of tourism in the town and beatification. Also, these projects will have a ripple effect on economic empowerment and increase other opportunities in the tourism and business sectors,” Mpuhwe said.
“We haven’t reached the implementation stage of these projects, but we plan to finish within four to five years,” he said. “We have confirmed the project in terms of the timing, the numbers and the size to be affected. So, we can’t have any commitments with the community before that detailed study is done.”
Residents said they welcomed the project because it will serve public interest.
“According to what the authorities told us, the project will increase the development of our districts and the people. So, we support the common development. We are also confident that our properties will be expropriated fairly,” said Michael Bukayire, who lives in the area where the lake will be built. He added that they would need enough money to be able to resettle.
Projected infrastructure includes a modern food market. The projects are being studied by the Local Administrative Development Agency (LODA), Rwanda Housing Authority and the District.
Musanze District is one of Rwanda’s six secondary cities and is home to many tourist attractions such as mountain gorillas, Volcanoes National Park, trekking and caves, among others.