At the beginning of 2007 Kigali City Council issued an ultimatum of a whole year, to owners of big commercial properties to fix their own sewerage problems by constructing modern treatment plants. This arose out of the fact that these buildings were posing an environment threat by dumping untreated sewage into their neighborhoods.
That deadline expired December last year, and now it is time to act.
No one hates development, but when that development is at the expense of the majority, then it becomes something else. It becomes exploitation. The wider Rwandan public should not be endangered by open-flowing sewage and its attendant cesspool smell simply because the owners could not afford to put up proper infrastructure to fully support their huge investments.
KCC is advised not to shift its stance on this, otherwise it will become like the very controversial stand-off between the ministry of Education and some unaccredited institutions of higher learning. The latter continue churning out ungraduated graduates as the ministry insists they do not have the required minimum standards to get them registered.
Meanwhile, they do not get closed down, so they continue operating and registering new students who do not have any hope of getting certificates that are recognized in the country.
It is always good to set benchmarks under which all institutions must operate. KCC should make clear its operating policies so that everything is properly streamlined, and nobody will then claim they are being treated unfairly. This, together with a vigorous inspectorate, will see to it that the right procedures are followed everytime.
It must also be said that KCC, as a matter of urgency, should construct its own central treatment plant, to which all city residents will be connected. This grid will go a very long way to solving the constant pollution risk that the city constantly faces.
The city planners must always be ahead of the ordinary citizen in providing amenities in the fast-growing metropolis that Kigali is becoming, that can even be considered a luxury at a particular moment, when a few years down the road they will become basic necessities.