By David Himbara
On January 28, 2018, General Paul Kagame’s loudspeaker, The New Times, celebrated the fact that Rwanda’s ambassador to Kenya, James Kimonyo, was teaching the Nairobi county government and people of Nairobi how to clean their city. The newspaper happily publicized how the Nairobi county government welcomed Kimonyo’s assistance in cleaning the city by learning from him how Rwanda became the world’s and Africa’s model of waste management. The Nairobi county government was ready to work with Kimonyo to accomplish what Rwanda achieved:
“The City Government is ready to work with the Rwanda High Commission to make our city clean and more importantly on solid waste management since you have shown to the rest of the World and Africa how it is done.”
Ambassador Kimonyo is a liar and disgrace. Rwanda has not shown the world or Africa how to manage solid waste. With a population of one million, Rwanda’s capital city of Kigali has no central sewage or treatment plant.
Kigali is a city of latrines, sceptic tanks, open sewers. Untreated raw sewage is dumped into streams, rivers, and lakes. Kigali is a human catastrophe waiting to happen. Rural Rwanda is no different – it suffers from same poisoning, smell and nastiness.
The best description of this horrible situation comes from the Auditor General who concluded as follows in 2016:
”As of June 2013, more than 300 tons of solid waste are collected every day and dumped to the unsanitary landfill located in Nduba Sector, Gasabo District. Nduba Landfill has not been developed to address the environmental and public health treats that caused the re-location from Nyanza dumpsite. The method of waste disposal at Nduba landfill is still the same as that used at Nyanza and hence pauses the same health risks. For the liquid waste (sewage), there is no system to receive and treat the sewage emptied from septic tanks from different parts of the City. They are deposited into pits at Nduba site and as of today they have become like small lakes (ponds) of sewage. Disposal methods used at Nduba still expose CoK to environmental and health hazards.”
The images below show what the Auditor General is describing — how the Kagame regime allows raw sewage to poison the environment and Rwanda’s water system.
Kimonyo, like I said, you are a liar and disgrace. You have nothing to teach Kenyans, least of all, how to manage or treat raw sewage. You remind me of these words of wisdom from the Bible:
“Why do you look at the splinter in your brother’s eye but don’t notice the beam of wood in your own eye?”