The City of Kigali has ordered former occupants of Gikondo industrial zone to remove all their machinery, old cars, and heavy steel and other materials they left behind when they vacated the wetland within seven days or risk losing them.
Julian Rugaza, the City Manager, explained that the owners had earlier been given March 9, 2020 as the deadline, which they did not respect.
“In order to respect and implement guidelines related to wetlands conservation, especially those abandoned by former occupants, we remind them to remove all left materials such as machinery, old cars, old steel and others from the Gikondo Industrial Zone within seven days,” he said.
If the owners don’t comply the City of Kigali will auction the property, Rugaza.
He added that, besides Gikondo wetland, other wetlands must also be vacated.
“The equipment that will have not been removed from wetlands by the established deadline will be auctioned,”
The City of Kigali is developing a Rwf600 million project at the Gikondo Industrial Park, which includes establishing gardens with green lawns, indigenous tree species and refreshment facilities.
Different species of indigenous trees such as sycamore trees, acacia trees have been planted as well as small ponds of waters with paths designed for pedestrians coming for sightseeing.
Juliet Kabera, the Director-General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), explained that Gikondo wetland is part of other wetlands reserved for recreation, adding that a study is underway to determine how to restore the degraded wetlands.
“In order to restore degraded wetlands, there is a study supported by the World Bank that will determine the way each wetland will be restored including Gikondo,” she said.
According to studies, the wetland cover in Kigali decreased from 100 square kilometres down to 77 square kilometres.
Rwanda is set to receive $7 million for the project.
According to Kabera, works to restore other wetlands will continue.
She said he works on Nyandungu Urban Ecotourism Park that had stalled due to the Covid-19 lockdown and heavy rains are expected to resume.
Wetlands recommended for rehabilitation in Kigali city are on 15 Square kilometres, which is 20 per cent, wetlands recommended for sustainable utilization account for 29 per cent, wetlands for conservation make 38 per cent and the rest are recommended for recreation.Follow NkurunzizaMiche