Local leaders in Rubavu District indefinitely closed over 100 restaurants and bars over poor sanitation.
The move followed an inspection by a team of health officials and local leaders of hotels and bars along the main roads in Rubavu town and other major trading centres.
“We assess the level of hygiene in the kitchen, toilets and the health of the employees to ensure they match the standards,” said Brigitte Umulisa, the officer in charge of the operation at the district.
She added that employees of such places that have since been shut down must be tested for diseases such as tuberculosis and other skin diseases at least after every three months.
The affected businesses can only reopen after streamlining their sanitary levels and paying a Rwf20,000 fine to the district.
However, Umulisa says that bigger more established hotels had improved sanitation.
He singles out small and medium-sized establishments as the the most affected.
Specioza Banyangabose, the proprietor of Isimbi Bar that was closed, acknowledges the importance of ensuring minimum sanitation standards.
“My front yard was neither tiled nor cemented while my bar was not painted inside; I think authorities want improved places where people gather,” she said.
However, she complained that the suspension had caused her immeasurable loss of revenue.