Kigali City to phase out street-side avocado trees

A beautification drive in Kigali could rid the city of street-side avocado trees by the end of the year, effectively phasing out roadside trees that were planted in the 1980s.
Some of the avacado trees lining the sides of the street near Kigali Business Centre. The City of Kigali intends to fell the old trees planted in the1980s. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.
Some of the avacado trees lining the sides of the street near Kigali Business Centre. The City of Kigali intends to fell the old trees planted in the1980s. The New Times/ Timothy Kisambira.

A beautification drive in Kigali could rid the city of street-side avocado trees by the end of the year, effectively phasing out roadside trees that were planted in the 1980s.

Officials at the City of Kigali on Monday said avocado trees are some of those trees that have overgrown and their replacement needs to be done as quickly as possible to ensure both safety and beauty in the city.

Many street-side trees have, in the recent past, fallen, espcially during heavy rain, often causing road accidents or blocking traffic.

The city’s agribusiness expert, Pascal Nahimana, said they have been slowly replacing all the old roadside trees in Kigali with new ones and many of the avocado trees that are still found on two of the city’s major streets could be uprooted before the end of the year.

“These avocado trees are too old,” the expert said, explaining that plans to completely uproot the trees have been underway since last year.

“We are also aiming at removing all the old trees in the city,” he said.

Beautification

Immaculée Mukashyaka, a City of Kigali official in-charge of greening and beautification of the city, said plans to remove avocado trees in the city have been underway, but at a slow pace, mainly because the city does not have enough means to mount a massive upgrading of its roads and street-side trees.

“Avocado trees are not our planned kind of trees to plant on the roadsides,” she said.

Over the last few years, the beautification of Kigali has resulted in the planting of palm trees on the street-sides and between lanes, while some flowers and grasses have also been flourishing among other plant species.

The city’s 50-year master plan in effect at the moment has also catered for Kigali’s green space by allowing city residents to allocate some 20 percent of the space in their residential plots to small-scale farming activities such as growing vegetables, fruits, and trees.

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