Home NewsNational Rwanda Parliament Raises Concerns Over Nduba Landfill Management

Rwanda Parliament Raises Concerns Over Nduba Landfill Management

by Daniel Sabiiti
3:09 am

Nduba landfill

Nduba landfill-File photoThe Parliament Accounts Committee (PAC) has tasked the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) to resolve the issue of waste management at the Nduba landfill, which is currently affecting residents and lacking safety measures for garbage collectors.

The call was made this April 29, 2024 during a PAC hearing in which the agency was pinned on several aspects of poor projects, tender and contracts management.

The committee showed that Wasac has managed to contract a company (Depot. Pharmaceutique et materiel Medical Kalisimbi ltd and Cooped) to manage the site but there were failures: to provide personal protective equipment (PPTs) for workers, to process solid waste into fertilizers, and unable to relocate residents nearby the Nduba landfill among others.

Nduba Landfill is located in Nduba Sector, Gasabo District in the outskirts of capital Kigali. This landfill was opened in May 2012 after the closure of Nyanza landfill. It started with surface area equivalent to 15 hectares and since then an additional area of 19 hectares was secured for future expansion of the solid waste management project.

Currently, the active landfill is 28.6 hectares, and the expansion area of the landfill is 24 hectares. The total area of landfill is 52.6 hectare3s, however the buffer zone to the landfill is estimated to 18 hectares.

On safety of garbage collectors, the company was contracted at Rwf101 million and it is paid Rwf32.4 million for worker’s safety gear, however it was revealed that they never got any PPTs.

“The problem is not that Wasac failed to pay but that the garbage collectors are not given any protection and we find this to be negligence with impunity,” said MP Germaine Mukabalisa, who led the inquiry.

The hearing also showed that there was failure to manage the city waste dumped at the site- which flows into the community and 394 plots of citizens living near the site (less than 400 meter buffer zone required distance from the site) have not been expropriated yet.

Dominique Murekezi, the Ag. Managing Director, WASAC Development Limited said that it is true the official in charge of staff safety didn’t follow up on the requirement to wear PPTs but a team has been set up to follow up every week.

Murekezi stated that there was also negligence of staff not putting on PPTs and some have been fired but the issue is currently monitored.

On waste water flowing (as a result of rains) into the community, the official said that they have constructed trenches to divert the waste water but didn’t explain why the waste is not prevented from flowing in the first case as implied in the findings.

“We don’t see any tangible response here and you are taking it lightly. What was the punitive measure for the people (contractor) behind this? The water here is not clean but dirty water and why aren’t you using modern ways to prevent this from happening,” asked MP Jean Claude Ntezimana.

On the issue of waste flow management, Murekezi stated that the government is soliciting funding for a project to set up another site – and this will come with fencing the area- which was not initially planned in the project.

Murekezi revealed that there is a plan to construct a new dumping site to replace the problematic one but expropriating the currently affected citizens were supposed to be compensated.

Murekezi said that the City of Kigali had compensated some (with Rwf3.7 billion as of end of 2023) but the process was set back by lack of funding since more funding was being solicited to progressively expropriate all citizens inside the site buffer zone.

“We have a plan to expropriate citizens and we hope that by the end of this budget year, all will be expropriated,” Murekezi stated.

On the issue of waste recycling into fertilizer- as planned;Murekezi said that the government is working with an investor (a non-governmental organization) to conduct a pilot project of transforming waste into solid fertilizers.

However, officials said that this agenda is retarded by failure for citizens to separate waste in their homes even when there is progress made in completing a structure (with equipment) where the waste will be sorted out and processed.

Wasac officials said that four villages in Kigali are piloting a program of citizens separating waste on their own; however, the problem of waste management is a mindset challenge.

MPs said that the issue of the Nduba dump site needs to be resolved completely as it has appeared in the previous Auditor General’s reports for many years.

“The wastewater we are talking about affected the lives of citizens. We need the CEO to give us a resolution on this issue of Nduba which keeps coming back,” said MP Jean Damascene Murara.

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