The New Times (Kigali)

23 January 2013

Rwanda: Master Plans Should Be Taken Closer to the People

Kigali City recently announced plans to make the City Master Plan accessible online. That was a very pertinent missing link, but it does not go far enough.

Real estate is one of the most vibrant sectors at the moment; therefore, its high price tag should mitigate the risks involved.

The formerly haphazard manner of issuing building permits is now costing the City billions every year as it tries to rectify past mistakes. But as the Kinyarwanda saying goes: Ubwiza burahenda (beauty comes with a cost), that is one bitter pill Kigali, and other towns for that matter, will have no option but to swallow.

To serve the public even better, authorities should think of decentralising Master Plans even further, down to Umudugudu, for example, so that potential investors or home owners will know exactly what is in store for them.

One risks investing his savings in purchasing a piece of land to build his dream house only for his dreams to come tumbling down when it comes to light that the area was meant for other activities, for example a highway, school, dispensary, and so forth.

Having the Master Plans available at the lowest administrative levels will not only help reduce the risks, but that of phony real estate agents as well whose only interests are juicy commissions.

Real estate aside; what is the fate of the suspended garbage collection in the city? Companies were suspended for poor service delivery without any immediate replacements to deal with the issue.

It makes sanitary sense to bear poor service than none at all.

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