Kigali City Council (KCC) has plans to put in place a leisure park in various locations within the city. Currently, Rwandans do not enjoy the benefits of relaxing at any leisure public park as none exists.
A leisure park is a recreational place set aside with facilities to enable people recreate, socialize, refresh, have picnics and fun.
“Leisure parks are not yet in Kigali but plans are in place to put up some because as the city council we have to provide for the needs of every individual including their recreational needs,” said Bruno Rwangira, KCC’s Public Relations Officer.
However he said it wasn’t KCC’s duty to put up the facilities but, “to facilitate the process through the private sector.”
Rwangira said that the places that currently serve as recreational centres are the roundabouts around town.
Even though this was not the initial plan, roundabouts are free of charge for anyone to visit at all times. To dismiss allegations that there were charges levied that probably kept people from visiting these makeshift recreation roundabouts, Rwangira said:
“We don’t charge any fee for any person who wants to visit the roundabouts; they are public and private properties and free of charge. The reason why people f probably ear visiting them is because you have to cross through heavy traffic before reaching these places, otherwise we don’t ask for any fee.”
In the planning process for the leisure parks, the city council has considered other factors like security and safety. KCC intends to achieve this by making sure that there are enough security personnel and a well built lighting system at the various leisure parks.
According to Joshua Ashimwe, the Coordinator of the One-Stop-Centre at Nyarugenge, the parks will be of two types—active and passive. The active parks denoted as p2, will be in Nyamirambo while the passive parks, p1, will be in Kimicanga.
Activities at the Nyamirambo parks will include: a sports complex, theme parks, resort hotels, a golf course and a zoo park. Activities at the Kimicanga parks include: a botanical garden arboretums (collection of trees) and a conservation unit, as well as outdoor recreational facilities such as; hiking and bicycle trails and resting areas.
“All the recreational centres will be prohibited from industrial, commercial, residential use and public facilities will not be allowed,” Ashimwe said.
Besides the leisure parks, plans to create an artificial river running all the way from South Nyabugogo to Kimicanga, with sitting places besides the riverbed are in place.
“The recreational centres are geared towards providing a good atmosphere for people to exercise, socialize, get entertained and recreate. We have all the right reasons to support this plan and we shall celebrate the great success that comes out of it,” the coordinator said.
For this very reason, Rwandans have been urged to keep the country clean, safe, beautiful and a good place that promotes wholesome health and a friendly environment.