Kigali is one of the few modern cities with no central sewerage system for domestic waste disposal. Its hilly terrain and many unplanned neighbourhoods also make it a challenge to manage waste.
Every building is expected to have septic tank and many commercial buildings tend to empty them frequently. So does it ever occur to anyone where the solid waste ends up? Just in the outskirts of Kigali is Nduba dumpsite that handles both solid and liquid waste.
The problem is that the dumpsite is it has human settlements as neighbours and they are not very amused; the smell and diseases brought about by flies and other scavengers has made many relocate without even waiting for compensation.
The city has scored highly on many fronts but one area that continues to blot it near-perfect record has been waste management and treatment. Successive city administrations have been talking about building an incinerator for years but nothing has come out of it.
The same goes for a waste water treatment and recycling plant. In fact, that should be given higher priority as there is a great possibility that our water table is already contaminated enough without adding more contaminants.
Even though most environmental protection duties belong to Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA), local authorities need to be more implicated. In fact, the planned restructuring of local administration entities should give them enough authority to be at the forefront of protecting the environment which is our vital lifeline, and the laws are already in place to ease their work.
Even though the new Kigali city team has set its priorities, the issue of Nduba dump site needs to be given equal attention because it’s a ticking time bomb.