Kigali’s fabled cleanliness is accentuated by serene green spaces. Truly beautiful greens and flowers that is well kempt. Of course, anyone living in the city should be proud of this.
But there is one side of the story of the beautiful sceneries that many would no doubt wish to see differently. This is blending nature with humans to have a livelier and vivacious city life. Not that the current life is dull.
Presently, it appears like these spaces are gazetted, meaning that besides city council workers who maintain them and birds, human activities, like leisure, are restricted. Every normal human would savour the thought of laying in the lush green of one of the most magnificent open spaces in Kigali — between KBC and Defence ministry headquarters — with a book in their hand or a drink during hot weather to just relax there.
There are many such spaces dotting the city and its suburbs, including the newly created green spaces along the Kacyiru-Remera road. But the City of Kigali has its reasons for keeping these spaces as they are presently.
Among them, security. Other reasons include cleanliness of these spaces, the need to maintain the greenery without humans messing them as well as the idea to keep the city clear of idle and disorderly persons as opening such spaces would see even vendors hanging around.
However, the modern cities are planned to have green spaces that are not just for the human eye to admire and appreciate but also for them to use for leisure. It might look like a long shot, but it would be worthwhile for the City of Kigali to look into the idea of creating some green spaces for leisure parks.
Of course, if such ideas were conceptualised, authorities would also look into how to keep the spaces clean as well as keep hoodlums and other idle and disorderly persons at bay. For instance, through a public-private partnership where a space can be sublet to a private firm’s management.
Surely, the much admired green city that Kigali is cannot continue to be devoid of human leisure in open parks. The City of Kigali should look into this long shot.