Members of the Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) have tasked new Mayor of the City of Kigali, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, and her team to urgently fix the issues surrounding Nduba landfill.
In their annual exercise of scrutinising public institutions’ expenditure and management of government funds, the chairperson of the committee, MP Juvenal Nkusi wondered why four years since the promise to fix the issue, it remains unresolved putting people’s health at risk.
The landfill, which is the dumping site for all garbage collected from different parts of the capital, is full and filthy, putting at risk the lives of people in surrounding areas, and endangering the environment.
“Why has the issue of Nduba been stagnant for all these years? The last promise that was made to us was three years ago and nothing has changed. What is the way forward?” he wondered.
MP Théodomir Niyonsenga also wondered whether institutions that have water and environment in their responsibilities were working collectively to solve the issue instead of having to wait for investors.
The City of City of Kigali’s Vice Mayor in Charge of Economic Development, Parfait Busabirwa, admitted that the issue of Nduba landfill had been challenging but made a commitment to PAC members on delivery by 2019.
“The issue of Nduba is very challenging for us and as long as we have not found a way of treating this waste, we won’t be satisfied with our work as employees of the City of Kigali. We have met with several institutions and committed that this issue will be worked on beginning with the 2018/ 2019 fiscal year,” he said.
Busabirwa was acting mayor until the election of Rwakazina two weeks back.
Rwakazina said that the issue of the landfill was that of urgency explaining that even within just two weeks of her being in office, she had visited the site twice to ascertain a way forward.
“I have been in office for only 13 days but I have been to Nduba landfill twice because it was one of the priority issues that needed to be dealt with. The audit that was done was specifically targeting wastewater but the City Council’s mandate actually includes all waste including plastic, metal and degradable waste. We are working with our partners to find a lasting solution,” she said.
Courting an investor
Last year, the City of Kigali announced that it was looking for $14m (about Rwf11bn) to construct a modern landfill in Kigali Sector in Nyarugenge District and close Nduba, which authorities say does not meet environmental standards.
Nduba dumpsite was set up after the closure of Nyanza dumpsite in Kicukiro District.
It has been said that no environmental impact assessment was conducted before setting it up and immediately they started dumping garbage there, residents started complaining about a foul smell and stagnated water that seeps through the dumpsite to the communities.
At least 450 tonnes of waste is collected in the City of Kigali everyday.