URBANISATION: Kigali authorities move to fix another 'slum'
Mpazi, one of Kigali CBD's old informal settlement sites could soon get a facelift after authorities prioritised the area under the next phase of the informal settlement upgrade project funded by the World Bank.
Kigali City council on May 23 invited developers to bid for the tender dubbed Mpazi Informal Settlement Upgrading Works, which involves expansion of key amenities, including roads, water supply and storm water systems in addition to street lighting and others, to the area.
The municipality indicates that the works must be concluded in 18 months.
In particular, details shared by the municipality show the bid winner will deliver 8.2-kilometre asphalt concrete roads, with street lighting for roads and footpaths on a total of 17.5 kilometres.
Besides, the area needs water supply systems, 414 metres of new storm water channels in addition to carrying out repairs and expansion of existing ones, including sections of Mpazi ravine.
To this adds works on 6.1-kilometre long footpaths with precast concrete interlocking pavers.
Works also include construction of a Cell office in Kora, rehabilitation of both the Gitega primary school and the Kimisagara Youth Centre, in addition to a selling point in the area.
The planned upgrade of physical amenities is good news for homeowners across the hilly terrain of Mpazi and Gitega of Nyarugenge District.
Many spent years in fear of being evicted under City council crackdown on structures in locations deemed at risk of disasters including those on steep hills and vicinities of drainages.
Many already had red X mark, locally known as “Toa” [remove] inscribed on their structures, and since found it difficult to secure permit to do renovations and hardly can the area’s immovable properties be eligible as collateral by the financial institutions.
Kigali City authorities, however, appear to have changed the approach to eradication of informal settlement from demolitions to upgrading.
This is after previous slum eradication initiatives came under criticism as they pushed people out of the city while creating unending disputes over compensation payment.
Under the informal settlement upgrade project, only residents whose structures are hit by the infrastructure works are expropriated. Others are allowed to upgrade their structured to the standards required by the municipality.
The planned upgrade of informal settlements of Mpazi follows similar works in Nyamirambo under the recently concluded Agatare project.
The municipality plans to expand the project to other old informal settlements sites such as Gatenga, Nyabisindu and Nyagatovu in urban Districts of Kicukiro and Gasabo.