Construction works for a modern housing project comprising over 1,000 units, underway in the Busanza area in Kicukiro District are currently at over 20 per cent, the developers told the City Mayor on Tuesday.
The developer – Savannah Creek Development Company – is building the homes for residents of the slum area that is condescendingly referred to as Bannyahe, in Remera Sector, where the former intends to develop as per the Kigali City Masterplan.
The development on the progress of the project was disclosed by engineers as the mayor of Kigali city, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, visited the site.
The project that is estimated to cost up to Rwf10 billion and will benefit residents from Kigali’s largest slum that covers three villages of Kangondo I, Kangondo II, and Kibiraro I.
City businessman Denis Karera who launched construction works of the Busanza estate in April gave the mayor a tour of the site, explaining the benefits that residents here will enjoy.
He says that the estate will make a difference for the residents who are currently living in a high risk area in unplanned settlements and in total conflict with the city’s master plan.
Karera is the Chairperson of Gold Capital Investments, a Kigali-based company that has partnered with a Finnish company, Taaleri Africa, to create Savannah Creek Development Company.
The latter has planned to invest $56million (about Rwf 47.6billion) to develop the Bannyahe slum into a decent residential estate.
Of the $56 million, $12 million (about Rwf 10 billion) will be invested in building housing units in Busanza for former slum residents in exchange for their expropriated properties.
The estate in Busanza will have important amenities for occupants such as playing areas, a modern market, a workshop hall for people to buy and sell different art crafts, as well as a central sewerage system.
Engineer Khaled M. Alalem explains some details to Kigali City Mayor Marie-Chantal Rwakazina and other officials during the tour at Busanza yesterday.
Mayor Rwakazina, whose visit was part of her initiative to inspect different affordable housing projects in the city, said that the project is a good opportunity for city residents in line with addressing housing challenges.
“It’s a good project; it will have good housing units that will have all the amenities that any Kigali resident would need in terms of settling. That is given the strength of buildings that will be here and the excellent place where the plot is located because it has a great view,” she told The New Times after visiting the site.
The Bannyahe slum will be razed and replaced by a modern residential estate but Karera and his partners want to mitigate the possible creation of another slum somewhere else after the former residents are relocated.
That’s why, the businessman said, the residents will be invited to start settling in the Busanza estate as soon as the units are completed and they will swap their current homes in the slum for new housing units in the estate.
He said that by the end of the year at least 300 units will have been completed at the estate while the rest of the units will have been completed by June 2019.
Mayor Rwakazina said that “all of the people in Kangondo have the opportunity to settle here (Busanza)” and encouraged the slum residents to move to occupy the 300 housing units that will be completed by the end of the year.
“Before the end of the year, the first group who will settle here will serve as a good example for others who are yet to understand the benefits of this project,” she said.
Karera argues that money doesn’t end unplanned dwelling as it moves it somewhere else and that’s why he has been working with city officials to convince the slum residents to take up new housing units in Busanza as their compensation instead of cash.