RE: “Keep Kigali clean and green” (The New Times, September 1).
Green? In Rwanda, it seems, we naturally don’t like grass and trees near our homes. Just take a look at our new suburbs: nobody wants to plant a tree in their spacious backyard. The only part of the city you can call green is the old Kiyovu, which was built by colonialists.
I have always wondered why Rwandans don’t plant grass in their compounds but prefer dusty soil instead, and I have not found an answer. Maybe someone else will provide me with an explanation one day.
Even in our schools, especially primary, children play soccer on soil playgrounds littered with granules and sometimes pebbles. In Uganda, where I grew up, every single home’s front and backyards were green, even in rural areas except in refugee camps. The common grass planted was called “paspalum”.
Does lack of interest in planting trees and grass around our houses in Rwanda and interest in doing so in Uganda have anything to do with our colonial past?