More factories to relocate from Kigali city wetlands

Workers demolish some of the structures at the former Gikondo industrial park last week. The demolition is part of the exercise to restore the wetland. Photo: Sam Ngendahimana.

An inventory conducted by Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) last year showed that there are more factories in wetlands beyond those in the former industrial park in Gikondo and must relocate.

This was confirmed by Remy Duhuze, REMA’s Director of Environmental Regulations and Pollution Control at REMA in an interview with The New Times.


He said that apart from factories that are being relocated from the former Gikondo industrial area, a plan was needed to look at other factories scattered in other wetlands in the City of Kigali.


Of the 935 marshlands across the country, 10 per cent are located in the City of Kigali and REMA says that 50 per cent of the wetlands in Kigali had been encroached upon.


REMA’s survey findings showed that there were 7,222 illegal activities, including industries in wetlands, and although Duhuze didn’t reveal all the names of the industries, the inventory has identified their number.

“We have cases such as Kabuye Sugar plant, UTEXRWA and others. They need to relocate but because it is the government that had authorized them to set up the infrastructures, there must be a plan to support them relocating which is contrary to those set up without government authorisation. Relocation of such factories will be handled based on individual cases,” he said.

On whether Inyange Industries was also located in the wetland, he responded: “It has only a small part which is located in the wetland. I heard it is seeking ways of relocating elsewhere”.

Kabuye Sugar relocation plan

Since marshlands are always prone to floods which affect enough supply of sugar canes to the factory, Kabuye sugar works have submitted a business plan to expand production on 5,500 hectares in Bugesera district where it will relocate the factory.

Currently, Kabuye factory is located in Nyacyonga along the Kigali Gatuna highway.

Joel Uwizeye, the Director of Corporate Affairs, said that the expansion and relocation will cost an estimated $100 million and will increase production capacity from 17,000 tonnes to 56,000 tonnes of sugar per year.

It will also produce 10MW of clean power from current 1MW as well as producing 6,000 million litres of ethanol to stop its importation.

“We have submitted the business plan to RDB and very soon we will meet all stakeholders, including the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Local Government to discuss the feasibility on the land we have identified in Bugesera district. We wish we could start construction in 2021,” he said.

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