A new campaign by the City of Kigali seeks to ensure that all households within the city precincts have a contract with an accredited garbage collection firm by the end of the year.
City officials said, currently, at least 70 per cent of the households use these companies, which at regular intervals collect garbage from their homes and dispose of them at designated sites.
The six-month campaign that started last month would decentralise the activities to maintain the City’s cleanliness up to the family level.
“Given the results so far, we hope to make it up to 100 per cent by December,” said John Mugabo, the in charge of environment protection in the City of Kigali.
Nathan Kanyesigye, the executive secretary of Gikondo Sector, Kicukiro District, said they have sorted out the problem of garbage collection.
“Every family in our sector is registered with a garbage collection company and we keep asking them to pay the monthly subscription,” he said.
Paulin Buregeya, the head of Coped, one of the City cleaning companies, welcomed the new drive, saying it will ease collection of fees at doorsteps.
“If we have contracts with all households, it will facilitate our work and if the local authorities come on board, I’m sure it will be easy for us to get our payments,” said Buregeya.
Jean Bosco Hakizimana, a resident of Kacyiru Sector in Gasabo District, said encouraging families to enter a contract with the service provider is a good initiative but added that safeguards be developed to ensure companies do not reap off the populace.
Hakizimana pays Rwf1,700 every month for waste collection, but he would wish the companies were more frequent in collecting the waste from homesteads.
“During every Umuganda (community cleaning) day, our leaders ask us to make cleaning our priority yet the companies we pay to help us achieve this do not come every week as we agreed. They come twice a month when the waste is a lot, they should be more frequent,” said Hakizimana.
Other activities targeted during the campaign, Mugabo said, includes inculcating the culture of sorting waste from homes before they are given to collectors to ensure bio-degradable waste are separated from those that are not degradable for proper disposal.
He said the campaign targets having at least 50 per cent of the households in Kigali adopt the culture of sorting waste by the end of the year, a move that would facilitate waste recycling.
Sectors and cells are the most targeted administrative units since they deal with the residents on a regular basis, according to Mugabo.
The local leaders said the campaign will succeed since they have already inculcated a sense of ownership of the exercise among residents.
Kanyesigye said as part of the campaign, Gikondo Sector has specifically embarked on paving feeder roads and ensuring that homes have gardens, however small.
The campaign, the second of its kind, is being implemented in partnership with the Rwanda National Police.
In a previous campaign, Kanombe Sector beat Gikondo to the top award.
“We are still making it; we trust cleanness in our neighbourhoods will give us an excellent score, even more than last time,” said Kanyesigye.
Police believe the campaign is a good opportunity to prevent the City from avoidable disasters.
“You always see us (Police) in the fight against soil erosion. It’s within our mandate to help prevent any kind of disaster. It is better we prevent such incidents from happening than intervening after they have taken place,” said Theos Badege, the Police spokesperson, adding that it is also the role of the Police to safe guard environment.
Mugabo said Police will play a key role of discouraging people from dumping waste on streets.
Kigali has been commended for cleanness by visitors and tourists to the country and, in 2008, won the UN Habitat Scroll of Honour Award for its innovations.