Society Debate: Should old Kigali give way for a modern city?

Modern is the way to go When you stand on Jali- the highest hill in Kigali, you’ll be amazed at the splendid beauty the city oozes. Especially at night, when the flickering star-like lights coat every corner of the capital, you wonder whether anything else can add to its glow.

Modern is the way to go

When you stand on Jali- the highest hill in Kigali, you’ll be amazed at the splendid beauty the city oozes. Especially at night, when the flickering star-like lights coat every corner of the capital, you wonder whether anything else can add to its glow.

The amazing thing about this city is that most of its nice structures are new. They are less than 15 years old. People who lived in Kigali in the eighties and early nineties will tell you that most of Kigali existed of green valleys and hills.

However, buildings started to come up at the speed of lightning and before we knew it, we were surrounded by street lights, straight roads and huge glass paneled structures.

The old buildings were no where to be seen.

This process seems to be ongoing because, wherever I go, I find new structures being erected. The historical ones are being demolished.

Well, you may ask: Shouldn’t the ancient structures be saved since they represent our past?

I find that quite impossible. You see, on the road to development, there are very many dilemmas you are going to meet.

You have to know what you should sacrifice and what you should keep.

To leave ancient structures in the middle of our city simply for the sake of history would deny us a brighter future.

Thinking about this, I’m reminded of the great debate between environment
conservation and development.
Much as the natural environment is good for our future, we are rightly forced to destroy it in favor of homes, offices, recreation centers and all that.

Take a look at the cities of Europe. They are big and beautiful, but it would be madness to believe that they did not cut trees and massively clear wetlands to create their cities.

Just as they say; if you want to have omelet, you must break an egg.  So, the Europeans chose intensive development over environment protection and now, they have beautiful structures in their cities.

For the city council to now decide to break its egg instead of keeping it, will create for us a beautiful city.

Rwanda already boasts a rich history and does not need to depend on structures that were erected in the colonial times.

The strength of old structures cannot be trusted. Sooner or later, they put lives at risk. Most of the engineers who designed them are no longer around.

That is why it is important that they be torn down and in their place, modern structures be erected, following modern technology and design.

mugishaivan@yahoo.com

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