Kigali’s first wastewater network and treatment plant in the offing

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Plans to construct the first state-of-the-art Kigali Central Sewerage System plant by 2022, could leave investors in Rwanda will a less burden of a requirement to construct individual sewerage systems underneath structures.

Construction of all commercial housing projects in Kigali city have been required to build their own septic tanks or mini waste treatment plants which is costly in construction and daily maintenance with the latter requiring foreign expertise.

“With the new central system we may not require investors to build their own systems, because the current network will be connected to the central system. This option is possible and will be deliberated after the plant is complete,” Parfait Busabizwa, the Kigali city Vice Mayor in charge of economic development said.

Kigali’s first wastewater network and treatment plant is expected to improve city hygiene especially during the rainy days, reduce air pollution as well as make Kigali an even better place to live and work in.

Rwanda has secured €96 million loan (approximately Rwf98billion) for putting in place the system with funds coming from the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB) and an additional €8 million from the government.

“A contractor will be available by end of the year with a design in place, and the construction will follow in the next months between this August and October. The whole project will be taking about 32 months to complete in June 2020,” Busabizwa said.

So far the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) has also expressed interest in co-investing in the Kigali central sewerage system that is expected to have many investors especially in waste management.

The wastewater treatment plant will have the capacity to treat liquid wastes at 12,000 cubic metres per day.

So far expropriation has been done for citizens living at Gitikinyoni, Kimisagara sector, along the Kigali-Huye Highway, where the plant will be located.

The city of Kigali officials recently went on a study tour in Japan and Côte d’Ivoire to get more tips on sustainable solutions to solid waste management, sanitary landfill, incineration and recycling.

In the meantime, it is also planned that Kigali residents will start paying for their liquid waste as part of the implementation of the new sewerage project.

Residents living along the mapped areas (City Centre, Muhima and Nyakabanda) connected on the 86 kilometers sewer network will be obliged to pay for the household sewer collected and drained from their homes.

Despite Kigali’s general green and clean outlook, this costliness has left some of the structures in Kigali city to emit septic smells polluting major parts of the city, especially during the rainy seasons.

A mini survey in Kigali city surrounding shows that around some locations, poor sewage has some areas with unpleasant smells occasionally released into the environment.

City of Kigali officials say that this is caused by failure to maintain existing sewage systems and some facilities releasing waste water into public areas.

By city regulations, some culprits have been fined up to Rwf6 million for this after failing to comply with the first warning.

“We do inspections and have fined many individuals whom we would not name, but with the new plant we will be able to contain such circumstances even if there is a failure in their sewers” Busabizwa said.

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