Govt woos investors for Kigali recreational zones

Nyandungu ecotourism park that is under construction. It is expected to generate over Rwf1bn profit in the first 12 years of operation. Photo: File

The Ministry of Environment and the City of Kigali have urged investors to venture into dedicated recreational zones as Kigali continues to build on its vibrancy. 

The call follows the launch of the revised Kigali City Master Plan and Wetland Master Plan last week.

 

At least 6 percent of the City of Kigali has been set aside for recreational spaces in the new master plan.

 

The ministry of environment has also zoned the Kigali city wetlands.

 

Of the total wetlands in the City, 20 percent will need to be restored, 29 percent has been dedicated to sustainable utilization which includes vegetable growing, 38 percent will be conservation activities, and slightly over 13 percent has been dedicated to recreation activities. 

Jeanne d’Arc Mujamariya, the Minister for Environment, said the wetland master plan will show the number of wetlands and their use.

“Then we will work with the Rwanda Development Board to seek investors to help us exploit the wetlands depending on their use,” she said.

The minister explained that some wetlands have been developed by the government and could be privatized.

“As the government, we are developing some wetlands into recreational space such as Nyandungu wetland to be turned into Ecotourism Park and once it is completed, it will serve as a model for investors on how they can invest into recreational zones,” she said adding that the wetland master plan will guide interested investors.

Wetlands serve both economic, social and environment benefits.

For instance, projections indicate that Nyandungu ecotourism park should generate over Rwf1 billion profit in the first 12 years of operation.

“Investors have already expressed their interest in some wetlands and they are waiting for details in the wetland master plan,” Mujamariya said.

The City has allocated Rwf1.4 billion while the Ministry for Trade has allocated Rwf3 billion to move people and businesses that have encroached on the wetlands. 

There is an estimated Rwf11 billion financing from the World Bank to help restore the wetlands as well as build recreational areas. 

Updates on dedicated recreational zones

Recreational zones are not only planned in wetlands but also in other areas in the city.

Marie-Solange Muhirwa, City of Kigali’s Chief of Urban Planning told The New Times that Phase one works at Rwandex Park in Gikondo Sector are at 98 percent completion.

“What is remaining is completing pedestrian lanes,” she said.

The park has gardens with green lawns, colorful indigenous tree species and refreshment facilities, small ponds of waters with paths designed for sightseeing.

There will also be Kiosks from which different products can be sold such as refreshments and snacks as well as other facilities such as benches and chairs around swimming pools, showers and washing rooms, bicycles lanes, lights, and places for photography among many other attractive facilities.

Muhirwa said that the progress works for Rwf5 billion Nyandungu Urban Wetland Eco-Tourism Park are at 35 percent, and they are expected to be completed by June 2021.

She said that the city hall public garden has been completed and opened to the public with free Wifi while the Kigali golf course is at the completion stage and expected to be operational in October 2020.

Kigali Cultural Centre on Rebero Hill in Kicukiro Sector on 30.1 hectares is among the largest recreational spaces.

It will have facilities intended to showcase Rwanda’s traditional and contemporary arts, nature, biodiversity, traditional lifestyle, and history.

“RDB monitors the construction works. Actually RDB concluded its work and it is in agreement with French firm to operate the center,” she said.

Among the operational recreation, spaces include Meraneza recreational space developed by Fazenda Sengha on mount Kigali, Juru Park, and others.

Other recreational spaces include gardens at roundabouts and many others are being constructed.

“The City of Kigali is actively working on strategies to develop more parks and public green open spaces for its residents,” she said.

New public space projects have been planned in various locations in Kigali, she said.

“The private investors are investing in recreational spaces such as Fazenda Sengha at Meraneza.

They can also partner with the government through a public-private partnership. The investment cost depends on the size of the land, the concept of the project and the target group of clients,” Muhirwa added.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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