Government has secured €96 million (approximately 98bn) for putting in place the first ever Kigali Sanitation and Central Sewerage System, funds that will come from both the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).
The funding, which is in the form of a loan, was approved this week by Members of Parliament.
Breaking down the cost, the Minister for Infrastructure, Claver Gatete, told legislators that the project will be funded with €45m from the IEB, €43m from the AfDB, and an additional €8m from the Government.
He explained that the project is comprehensive and will go hand in hand with the construction of other related infrastructure.
“There are different activities that are being pursued at the same time, including roads because it makes sense to construct them now so that we don’t have to dismantle them when we start the sanitation project. There are pipes that will be laid across streets,” he said.
According to the minister, the loan from the two financial institutions has a five-year grace period and will be repaid over 25 years at an interest rate of 1 percent.
The first phase will see the construction of a central sewerage system that will collect waste from Gatenga Sector, Kicukiro District, Nyarugenge Central Business District (CBD) and Muhima Sector in Nyarugenge District carrying the waste down to Giticyinyoni neighbourhood where a central waste treatment plant will be built.
The plant will have the capacity to process 12 cubic meters of waste every day.
The system will involve construction of a 86-kilometre sewer network supported by a 3.1 km trunk- main.
When completed, the system will put to rest concerns by urban planners on the septic tank system that is popular with almost all the houses in Kigali City.
MP Henriette Sebera Mukamurangwa told fellow lawmakers that while she believed in the urgency of the project, adding there was need to let the concerned parliamentary committee to review the project in detail.
“The project is urgent and I feel that it is important that it is first reviewed by the committee because when you look at the serious issues that we are facing like the overflowing of River Nyabarongo, the water that is washing away people’s homes, there is a lot that we should discuss. We need to discuss this further and in more detail in terms of how it will work, its sustainability and much more,” she said.
MP Juvenal Nkusi wondered if this particular project was the best option for Kigali.
“I have no objection signing off this money but I can’t help but wonder whether this is the best project for Kigali. There is new technology that incinerates waste. I wonder if we have looked into that option,” he said.
Presenting his annual report on Monday, the Auditor General Obadiah Biraro said that there was an issue of waste that continues to be dumped in wetlands and was not only a health hazard but a threat to the environment as well.
“The audit identified cases of waste being channelled and dumped in the wetlands. This is a threat to environment and may lead to contamination of water sources and soil, hence putting human life and other living species in danger. The dumping of waste in wetlands is a result of failure to use proper septic tanks and waste treatment plants for households and industries,” he said.
Construction of the sewerage system will begin in July 2018 and end in 2021.