Kigali City authorities are planning for the relocation of at least 13,000 households from high-risk zones, a senior official has said.
This comes on the back of deadly rainfall – and rain-induced disasters, such as floods and landslides – that battered the country in the first half of 2018.
The City of Kigali Mayor, Marie-Chantal Rwakazina, said most of the households in question currently live on Rebero and Jali hills.
She was speaking on Sunday during a meeting of Kigali City RPF cadres which saw her take over from her predecessor, Pascal Nyamulinda, as the new Chairperson of RPF-Inkotanyi in the City of Kigali.
“As the RPF-Inkotanyi Chairperson in Kigali and City Mayor, I pledge to fast-track the project to relocate over 13,000 households from high-risk zones in the city as part of efforts to improve urban settlements, ensuring a resilient, clean and green city, but also to keep people safe from disasters,” she said.
The mayor said the plan is to implement the project before the next rain season sets in.
“We will start with the most vulnerable households such as those living in high risk hilly areas and those with weak houses,” she said. “We will gradually include others as finances allow.”
The target is to start with 4,000 within the first year.
“We are also mobilising people who live in such unsafe areas to be vigilant and help secure their lives,” she said.
More than 200 Rwandans died in rain-induced disasters in the first half of this year – a period that saw the worst rains in Rwanda in about half a century.
Relocation of city residents from high-risk zones to properly planned settlements is a major component of the City of Kigali Master Plan, which is under its second implementation phase (2018-2025).
Officials say that the implementation of the first phase of the master plan was achieved at 75 per cent with the unachieved targeted largely being blamed on financial constraints.
A recent survey showed that some 34,000 households live in unplanned settlements in the City of Kigali.