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Monday, September 10, 2007

Rwanda - The Switzerland of Africa?

The Rwandese take development seriously. They have made substantial progress in the past 13 years after the country's economy was almost decimated by the carnage/genocide perpetrated by the the likes of felicien kabuga (apparently hiding in Kenya under the protection of some folks in the Kenyan government) and his ilk.

Kigali city goes into modern housing bid
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Monday, 10 September 2007

By Bosco Hitimana

KIGALI, RWANDA – The Kigali City Council is seeking investors to change the face of the city through modern housing schemes. If achieved, this is hoped to melt away slums and associated problems.

About 75% of households in Kigali city live in unplanned plots, according to the Mayor of Kigali city Ms. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira.

Addressing journalists at a press conference recently, Kacyira said due to a poor and disorganized housing system in the city, last year 31 people perished in incidents related to poorly built structures. Kigali city covers 730 square kilometres and accommodates 900,000 people. She said that some of the households in slums will be expropriated in favour of modern constructed houses, which will be developed according to the master plan of the city.

“The slums will be developed into a modern housing system as proposed by the Kigali city master plan,” the mayor told the media.

Kirabo, who is optimistic of transforming the nation's capital into an organized and healthy place to live, said Kigali city has partnered with the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR) and Rwanda Housing Bank (RHB) to construct 250 medium houses at Batsinda site in Kigali where some of the 250 selected and expropriated households will be re-located.

The 5,000 medium house pilot project is laid on 1,000 hectares and is valued at Rwf3.5million (US$6,363). The first 158 of 250 houses comprising the first phase have been constructed and are to be handed over to their owners in November this year.

According to the Kigali City master plan, Batsinda houses will be given to 250 homes that have been part of the slums of Ubumwe cell in Muhima sector, Nyarugenge district in Kigali city. The remaining will be sold to other households with similar slum related housing problems. Ubumwe cell and the area around it in lower Kiyovu will be given to SSFR to develop into a modern residential area.

It is expected that biogas plants will be established for the households and four house units will share one plant. Each plant is expected to yield 1,500 cubic litres of a gas per day.
The site will be provided with a commercial area and other recreational facilities like play grounds and a cinema hall. Women from Ubumwe cell have been trained to specialize in weaving local baskets known as Agasaeke.

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