The population in Kigali City has more than tripled, surpassing previous projections and necessary amenities in the metropolis.
“We had estimated that by 2015 the population would be 450,000 but now it’s more than a million,” revealed Jean d’Arc Gakuba , the Vice Mayor of Kigali City Council (KCC).
The rapid population growth has been attributed to mass rural-urban migration with many Rwandans in search of employment and better standards of living.
Currently, the suburbs are jammed with migrants in search for better livelihoods which according to officials, has heightened insecurity in the city and demand for accommodation.
“These people coming in and getting out of the city cannot be controlled and the infrastructure has not been upgraded to conform to the growing number which has led to a shortage in accommodation facilities. Amenities like water and health facilities are not enough,” said Gakuba.
According to statistics from the city, in 1996 the population was 358,200 but by 2001 it had shot to 605,000.
Gakuba explained that the city is unable to control the rate of inflow and provide for the increasing number of people.
The statistics revealed that population in the city had reached one million in 2006.
Meanwhile, Bruno Rangira, the spokesperson of KCC, said that the population explosion has its economic advantages with increased purchasing power.
“It also means increased demand for goods and services which is good when the capacity for production is there, but also becomes a problem when supply is limited,” he said.
But he reiterated the need to increase infrastructure to meet the rapidly swelling number of the population.
“Well, population increase has added pressure on infrastructure and there is a need to develop proportionate infrastructure-roads, schools and health facilities- to the number of the population,” said Rangira.
Rwanda’s population is currently estimated at 9.3m with a growth rate of 3.2 percent annually.