Kigali Parents School – one of Rwanda’s famous Private Schools and La Palisse Nyandungu Hotel, both located in Gasabo district will see the biggest part of their infrastructure removed, KT Press has learnt.
The move is part of an ongoing exercise by the government of Rwanda to close all businesses and structures situated in areas gazetted as wetlands.
“Some parts of La Palisse Hotel and Kigali Parents School will be phased out,” Eng. Coleta Ruhamya, Director General of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) told KT Press on Saturday.
In June this year, President Kagame joined residents in community work Umuganda at a wetland near the two structures and announced the exercise.
“I would like to remind that this wetland and many others have to be exploited appropriately or left as they are,” said Kagame in address to residents of Kicukiro district.
“…. in many areas, people transform wetlands into farms, cultivate them or build houses in them,” the President said.
Following the President’s directive, Rwanda Environment Management Authority and other institutions concerned started a program to close the structures and offered deadlines for effective relocation.
But REMA says some of business owners have not heed the call while others will have to be compensated, including La Palisse and Kigali Parents School. Other structures whose parts will be closed include Utexrwa – a local textile industry located in Gasabo district.
“Some of these structures were put in wetlands under the old law. Government will have to compensate them in order to relocate,” Eng. Ruhamya told KT Press.
Inyange Industries – the country’s leading food processing company has also been rumoured to be affected by the new policy.
But Eng. Ruhamya told KT Press that the company’s Masaka-based plant in Kicukiro district will not be affected.
“Actually Inyange is not located in a wetland. Even before they planned to establish their plant there, REMA gave them green light after assessing the land,” she said.
Meanwhile, a technical team set to follow up relocation plans will tomorrow, Sunday 10, hold a meeting with Environment Minister to update him on the progress.
Prior sensitization efforts to woo occupants to voluntarily leave wetlands has failed – which prompted government to massively supervise closure of any activities in affected areas.
“We will have a meeting next week to discuss the progress and take decisions on those that have not honoured deadline to relocate,” Eng. Ruhamya told KT Press.