16 January 2013

Rwanda: Kigali Needs a Central Sewerage System


One of the most ambitious plans accumulating dust in the drawers of Kigali city engineers are blueprints for a sewerage system for the city.

City authorities have been mulling this idea for years but nothing has come out of it, and as Kigali continues to grow, it will make it even more complicated to achieve.

The ideal sewerage system is put in place before construction begins, so all the builder does is to link the building's waste disposal conduits to the sewage on the way to treatment plant.

But that is not how Kigali is built, and you can't blame the city authorities or the current government, they inherited the fiasco.

Today, every single building has its own waste and water disposal pits in the compound. Jokes have even been circulating that one day Kigali will sink.

If and when the city's sewerage system becomes operational, landlords will have to reconfigure their waste disposal system to conform to the sewage master plan, and it will not come cheap.

The city should start by sensitising people seeking to construct new buildings to plan for an eventuality of sewers passing right under them. But even more urgent, it should come forth and give an update on the sewage plans and make it top of the agenda in its performance contracts (Imihigo).

The city is growing too fast and local authorities need to keep up. They need to blow away the dust on the sewerage system blueprints and get to work, now.

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