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Rwanda Receiving Bids for Central Sewage System Construction

by Godfrey Ntagungira
3:18 pm

Walk around buildings like T2000 in Kigali downtown, especially at the parking entrance. A stinky environment is a justification that the city needs a central sewerage system as a matter of urgency. Photo Plaisir Muzogeye

Following many years of attempts, Rwanda’s water and sanitation body (WASAC) has launched call for proposals to construct the first-ever central sewerage system for Kigali, to be completed in three years.

Two International lending institutions namely European Investment Bank and African Development Bank have already committed their stake in the Financing of the Project which is estimated to cost €95.5M.

The third partner in this project, phase one is government of Rwanda.

According to WASAC, this first phase will be the construction of a central sewerage system that will collect waste from Gatenga sector – Kicukiro district, Nyarugenge Central Business District (CBD) and Muhima sector.

It will carry the waste down to Giticyinyoni neighbourhood where a central waste treatment plant will be installed.

The plant will have the capacity to process 12 cubic meters of waste every day and will run on gravity.

“I can confidently say that all studies were approved including feasibility, environmental and social impact studies. We have reached a stage of receiving bids to construct the system,” Marie Josée Nyiraburanga, WASAC sanitation project implementation officer told KT Press.

Nyiraburanga said construction activities may start within this financial year.

A sewerage system at Kigali university teaching hospital. Some institutions have constructed a sewerage system already but a general discharge is required

The system will involve construction of 86 kilometres sewer network supported with a 3.1 km trunk- main in a period of 36 months.

Once completed the project developer will have to train local engineers on maintenance of the system.

The absence of a central sewerage system has always caused a concern among urban planners and other engineers who understand its implication.

According to Fred Rwihunda, a local Engineer, most of the houses rely on septic tanks, which means that not only domestic wastewater but also rainwater is buried in the ground, which breaks the water cycle.

“This increases land vulnerability and would in the long run cause landslides,” Rwihunda explained.

He further said that they have already started seeing some implications whereby for example, when they want to build heavy infrastructure, laying a foundation becomes a challenge in some neighborhoods, especially the former slums which are littered with many septic tanks.

“The central sewerage system will allow discharge of waste but will also give by-products like fertilizers and biogas,” Rwihunda said.