Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

9 January 2013

Rwanda: Kigali City in Hygiene and Cleanliness Drive

A bar-restaurant and a garage were on Wednesday temporally closed and seriously fined by officials of Kigali city due to poor hygienic conditions at their working places.

The garage known as "Garage Mironko" located in Karambo cell, Gatenga sector in Kicukiro and Right Vision Bar-Restaurant in Kimironko of Gasabo district were sanctioned during a city tour during which the mayor of the city and his district mayors/vice mayors and other staff paid surprise visits to inspect various working places around the city.

The inspection was mainly checking if all tarmac roads have well-maintained gardens, paved spaces on entrances of houses, the cleanness of garages, parking areas, hotels and restaurants and how waste is collected and managed by residents of the city.

The garage in Gatenga was closed due to garbage scattered on the site and its surroundings. Apart from stopping it from operating, Paul Jules Ndamage, the mayor of Kicukiro, said that heavy fines of no less than Frw 500,000 will be soon imposed.

The bar-restaurant in Kimironko for its part was sanctioned because of the abominable hygienic state. Flies for instance could be seen moving from dirty places to pig meat in the kitchen; a kind of meat commonly known as "Akabenzi" that is appreciated by many residents of the city. Cash fines will also be imposed.

Other places were also visited and local residents and leaders were warned to fix hygiene issues where required.

"Seeing garbage alongside the road and dirtiness in working places is a surprise for us," stated Alphonse Nizeyimana, the Kigali city's vice mayor in charge of economic affairs. "It must not be a culture in our city."

The inspection, mentioned Nizeyimana, was carried out in the context of a three-month hygienic campaign launched on December 11 to improve cleanliness of the city. Kigali was the first African city to be granted the Habitat Scroll of Honor Awardin 2008 due to efforts to keep the city green, banning polythene bags and progressive settlement policies among others.

But some scattered waste can still be found around the city. In reaction to this, Nizeyimana said it's an issue of different characters staying in the city. "We now manage around 1.3 million people. So managing characters of all those people is not easy. That's why you can still see some dirty areas," he observed, adding that that is the reason of such campaigns.

In the move to beautify the city, Nizeyimana said that they continue to education people of the city since they are not all at the same level in terms of hygiene, greening and city beautification. In addition, he said that local leaders at sector, cell and village levels will play a significant role in doing away with unclean areas. "We've noticed that further improvement is still needed by greening different places, removing scattered waste," he noted. "We don't want to see empty bottles and papers scattered around the city."

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