Gatsata garages get ultimatum

GASABO -All garages operating within a designated wetland in Gatsata Sector, Gasabo District, have up to the end of this month to have relocated to a new site, authorities announced yesterday.Willy Ndizeye, the Mayor of Gasabo, said that owners were given a deadline of not later than October 30, to relocate to a designated location nearby.
The new location for the garages is far from complete.  The New Times / Timothy Kisambira
The new location for the garages is far from complete. The New Times / Timothy Kisambira

GASABO - All garages operating within a designated wetland in Gatsata Sector, Gasabo District, have up to the end of this month to have relocated to a new site, authorities announced yesterday.

Willy Ndizeye, the Mayor of Gasabo, said that owners were given a deadline of not later than October 30, to relocate to a designated location nearby.

“It was made clear to them, even if they will have not completed construction at their new site. This is something we agreed on and it will have to be respected,” explained Ndizeye.

Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and the City of Kigali, early last year, gazetted the lower part of Gatsata, mostly occupied by garages, as a wetland and directed all people in the area to relocate as soon as possible.

The relocation of garages, organised under the owners’ cooperative, ‘Icyerekezo Cooperative Society,’ was first scheduled at the end of last year.

Sam Gatwere, the president of the cooperative said, yesterday, that the relocation was hampered by the compensation of members.

“The majority of members had not been compensated, which slowed the relocation process. But we are working tirelessly to beat the new deadline since we all have what we need. We will call the district authorities and show them how far we have gone with the construction process in the event that deadline finds us halfway,” Gatwere said.

The garage owners were supposed to be compensated for the activities they had in the gazetted area.

The cooperative, which has about 100 members with over 500 employees, brings together 15 garages in the area. The group says it wants to construct a new modern garage at a cost of Rwf 1.5 billion.

When The New Times visited the new site where garages were allocated in upper Gatsata, only the ground was levelled, with no other construction activities in sight.

All the garages in the area, including those in the neighbouring Nyabugogo and hundreds of families that are within the wetland boundaries, are obliged to relocate.

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