Greening of Kigali City road network begins in earnest

Tuesday February 25 2020

Greening

Greening and beautification by Afrilandscapes workers ongoing day and night along Kigali city’s main roads. Photo | Cyril Ndegeya  

JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
By JOHNSON KANAMUGIRE
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Afrilandscapes Limited, a subsidiary of an international firm with operations in Africa and Middle East has been hand-picked to expedite beautification works including landscaping around Kigali City ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (Chogm) to be held in June.

While the financial cost of the project has not been made public, Rwanda Today has learnt that the firm has up to March to plant and replace old flowers and trees with new varieties on all selected municipal roads.

Afrilandscapes was picked to complete one phase of the city beautification while government would undertake another phase during the next financial year which will involve beautification and greening for roads and public spaces in the remaining neighbourhoods of Kigali.

Apart from the comprehensive designs, government was yet to determine the budget needed for the work. Afrilandscapes management did not respond to our requests for information on the project.

Basil Karimba, the managing director said that as the contractor they were only focusing on delivering the work, referring us to their client — the government for information.

However, officials from Rwanda Forestry Authority, the agency which is spearheading implementation of the project, said the firm would later install drip irrigation systems on all green spaces in the eight-month contract with an additional 12 months for maintenance activity.

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Jean-Pierre Mugabo, head of forestry department told Rwanda Today that in collaboration with a team from Kigali City, Rwanda Housing Authority, the Ministry of Infrastructure and others, they were making sure that works are expedited to deliver the expected beauty ahead of June.

“All we are doing is in line with the timelines of the Commonwealth summit, and we are making sure that we deliver the beauty that is needed in this city by that time. That explains the hurry and intensity you see in the implementation of the project,” Mr Mugabo said.

He said that greening and beautification was urgently needed on key roads and roundabouts on the road network connecting the central business district to the Kigali International Airport and major conference facilities like the Convention Centre, Kigali Arena and major hotels in the city.

Day and night

Intensified greening and beautification by Afrilandscapes workers are ongoing during day and nighttime in these areas, while separate upgrades and renovation are being carried out on connecting roads of facilities in other CBD neighbourhoods.

Mr Mugabo said the firm had until next month to complete planting of trees and flowers where they are needed along roads and at roundabouts. He, however, declined to discuss the details of the contract such as the total cost of the project.

“I prefer that the details of what it will cost remain confidential for now,” he said, only indicating that the expenses were met using funds from the Ministry of Finance based on the redesign and modifications in the course of carrying out of greening activities.

Meanwhile, Kigali City Council has announced that in addition to the ongoing activities in line with Chogm, the grand beautification plan would also see green spaces and recreational sites set up around wetlands that have been cleared of illegal structures.

Similar projects are planned for the former Gikondo industrial area where a recreational park has been completed on the 1.8 hectares formerly occupied by factories and industrial businesses that were moved to their designated special economic zone.

The June event is expected to attract over 10,000 delegates to Rwanda from more than 53 Commonwealth member countries.

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