By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame’s The New Times has great news — if true — in its editorial of January 16, 2020. The New Times claims that the Kagame government is about to finally build a sewage system for Kigali, a city jokingly known as a potential giant sinkhole. The joke comes from the fact that Kigali sits on top thousands of thousands of latrines, septic tanks, and open sewers of raw human waste that might one day sink the city of one million. The paper claims that the problem is about to be fixed. Here is The New Times editorial in its entirety:
Sewer - the best news of the decade
”This town might not sink after all. There has been an ongoing joke that Kigali might one day be transformed into one giant sinkhole. The reason being that in the absence of a sewerage system, every building is obliged to provide its own septic tank. From time to time the tanks are emptied but in some older neighbourhoods, the vehicles that empty the tanks have no access, so once one tank is full, it is sealed and another one dug beside it. So one can imagine the state of some of Kigali neighbourhoods’ underbelly; it just needs a bit of extra pressure and it gives.
Well, there is no likelihood of that happening anytime soon after the government finally unveils the long-awaited plans to build a sewerage system with a central treatment plant to be located in Gitikinyoni on the outskirts of the city.
The do-it-yourself sewerage system will not make it easy to construct new sewers, so it will be interesting to watch how the experts will make alterations to the current setup. However, new construction regulations are needed:
Every new housing project should have a sewer system in place that connects to the central grid before building begins.”
Let us not forget, however, that The New Times keeps claiming the same lines. The paper wrote in 2014:
”The city of Kigali’s plans to construct a central sewerage system was one that met the approval of the majority. It would be the best thing to do to contain flooding in the city that is often a menace during heavy rains.”
The paper claimed in 2016 that ”Construction of City sewerage system due to start in March next year.”
In 2018, the paper announced that ”Kigali is finally set to have a central sewerage system.”
In January 2019, The New Times claimed that ”Construction of Kigali sewerage system to kick off in June.”
Is Kigali finally getting a sewage system? Stay tuned.