RULINDO - River Rusine which flows from the hills of Cyinzuzi Sector in Rulindo District, through Gasabo District and eventually pours into River Nyabugogo, is facing acute threats from human activities.
They include construction of commercial houses on the river bank, farming, and extraction of sand from the river.
The New Times established that oil spills from sand transport trucks, food oil and detergents from nearby houses pose a great health hazard to residents and animals that drink water from the polluted river.
At Rusine trading center located about 20km along Kigali-Gatuna highway, a stream of transport trucks and related human activities can be seen close to River Rusine, in complete disregard of environment protection laws.
When contacted, the Ntarabana Sector Executive Secretary, Jirithe Mujijima said landlords have been asked to vacate the area as an environment protection measure but they are yet to leave.
“Owners of commercial and residential houses at Rusine trading center shall be relocated to another site, provided to them by the district as a measure to protect River Rusine from pollution,” said Mujijima.
She explained that the evictees will not be expropriated in cash since they will get alternative land provided by the district.
The Rulindo District official in-charge of environment protection Augustine Dusengimana, said residents residing along rivers and swamps have been sensitised to observe government’s environment protection Laws.
“The Rwandan organic Law No.04/2005 of 08/04/2005 on environment protection requires residents to respect a minimum radius of 10 meters from water streams or rivers and a radius of 50 meters away from the banks of lakes- before carrying out agricultural or other human activities,” said Dusengimana.
He further said landlords of commercial and residential buildings at Base and Rwiri trading centers in Rulindo District, will also be required to respect environment protection Laws because they constructed close to river banks.