Rwanda: Parliament Wants Further Audit Into Nduba Landfill

The Chamber of Deputies has requested the Office of the Auditor General to make a follow-up audit of the use of budget appropriated towards management of the Nduba Landfill located in Nduba sector of Gasabo District, Kigali.

The audit has to be carried out within two months.

The Lower House made the resolution on March 2, during a virtual plenary sitting which adopted the report of its Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on the construction of modern Nduba landfill.

On October 07, 2020, the Parliament gave PAC a responsibility to assess the management and use of the budget intended for the construction of the landfill after realising that the funds kept increasing without giving [enough] yield, yet there was no feasibility study done to inform its construction.

A report of the Standing Committee on Economy and Trade which was adopted by the Parliament last October indicated that the Nduba landfill, where much of the garbage collected from Kigali is dumped, posed a major health hazard to the people living in surrounding areas.

The report pointed to unplanned expenditure, partly resulting from the fact that the landfill was used without a feasibility study since 2012 after the closure of Nyanza dumpsite in Kicukiro and that expenses on unplanned activities related to the landfill continue to rise.

Valens Muhakwa, the Chairperson of PAC said that the Auditor General told the committee that the audit he carried out indicated that Rwf2.5 billion had been spent on the management of Nduba landfill.

He pointed out that when PAC held talks with the City of Kigali, the City leadership told it that the expenditure on the Landfill amounted to Rwf2.7 billion.

Muhakwa said that after interacting with other institutions including the City of Kigali and the Office of the Auditor General, it turned out that there was a mismatch between the reported expenditure on the landfill, therefore it was difficult to ascertain the exact budget used on it thus far.

Underscoring the need for the fresh audit, Muhakwa said that the latest audit report was in 2016, indicating that there was need for a detailed report that provides the current state of the issue, what went wrong and who is responsible for it.

"We can base on that audit report to hold those responsible accountable."

He said that the audit will also consider how the taskforce mandated to ensure the management of the Landfill assumes its responsibilities.

The taskforce includes the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), the City of Kigali, Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), and Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

Other issues that were identified include that some of the residents who should be expropriated from the landfill site have not yet been compensated, as only 40 percent of 444 residents were given compensations.

Also, he said, there is a concern that workers at the landfill are not fitted with enough protective gears to help them guard against increasing amount of wastes which is not treated for utilization purposes.

MP Suzanne Mukayijore said that there is water contaminated by the landfill wasted that infiltrates into the water that the residents fetch for consumption in the nearby community, an issue that poses heath risk to them.

She called for a compressive study to ascertain the effects of the landfill on residents' health.

MP Jean Pierre Hindura said that there was a need for a lasting solution to the management of the Nduba landfill issue that continues to come up.

"The institution [the Ministry of Infrastructure] heading the activity [management of the landfill] has to explain the issue and how it will be addressed. Then, the oversight will be made to find out whether what was promised was achieved, "he said.

Currently, estimates from WASAC suggest that urban solid waste generated in the City of Kigali is estimated at over 500 tons per day. The generated municipal solid waste is majorly composed of organic waste that makes around 70 percent.

Referring to the recent report on rapid assessment and options analysis for Kigali waste Disposal 2019, WASAC said that the organic waste is mainly composed of food waste.

This, however, is not tapped; rather the organic waste is mixed with other waste types and landfilled.

According to WASAC, the size of the active dumpsite at Nduba is 24.42 Ha (with a possibility to be extended to 54 Ha).

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