Waste Management in Kigali

In pursuant of Law no 39/2001 of 13th September 2001 RURA Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency was established with a mandate to regulate sanitation services. It is responsible for improvement in the delivery of sanitation services including waste disposal, and management.

Kigali City produces about 100 tons of waste on a daily basis and volume of waste is expected to increase as the population of the city increases.

RURA is the only body that gives consent to any city or town, company, sector cell, public/private to acquire and operate a dump site. The information on waste management in the city is organised as follows;

Standards Required By RURA for a Landfill

The standards to be met are as follows;

  • No hazardous, medical and pharmaceutical products waste should be disposed of on the site.
  • The site should be approved  for waste disposal purposes.
  • The location of landfill should not give rise to any adverse effects or significant risk
  • Solid waste landfill shall be at least 3 meters above the seasonal high ground water level, maximum height of site above ground should not exceed 3meters.
  • Site should be constructed in a manner that has little or no erosion occurring.
  • Site shall not be closer than sixty meters to surface water body and 100 meters upstream from public water supply.
  • The site shall not be located in aquifer recharge areas or public water supply catchment areas and must be subject to additional water quality monitoring.
  • Site shall not be closer than 3000meters from the airport.
  • Site shall not have negative impact on flora and fauna.
  • Site shall not be closer than 400meters from an existing residential development.
  • The site should not be closer than 100meters from area to which the public have access, a national park, protected area or an area having national historical or archaeological significance.

Partners in Kigali Waste Management

The country has not yet put in place a proper comprehensive waste management framework to conduct proper waste management practices.   Kigali City has partnered with UNDP for support in areas of technical, financial and maintenance techniques on waste management. The UNDPR Project has been developed with the following aims;

  • To develop a socially, sustainable  and environmentally friendly waste management framework
  • Supposed to conduct a feasibility study on Fukuoka Method for the current Kigali Landfill Facility
  • Support IRST to produce high quality combustible briquettes for contribution to both reduction of organic waste discharge to landfill sites and avoidance of in-house air pollution
  • Establish waste management national and local action plans in addition to creating institutional framework to make it possible for all the stakeholders to get and work together
  • Construct improved Kigali Landfill Facility.
  • Improve daily maintenance of landfill located in Nyanza.
  • Design a detailed new sanitary landfill with recycling facilities.
  • To conduct the environment impact assessment on waste management.
  • To provide Public awareness through different stakeholders meetings, workshops and sensitization in regard to proper waste management.

Challenges of Waste Management in Kigali

The challenges of waste management include the following;

  • The disposal sites are over flowing because of big volumes being produced.
  • There is lack of proper facility and treatment skills on the landfill to dispose off the waste. Discarding of waste on the site is creating new hills of waste.
  • Some chemical waste is improperly disposed of in an unsuitable area or disposed off in rivers that traverse the urban centres and other wetlands.
  • Kigali has no central treatment facility for sewage and no system of sewers
  • Some septic tanks in residential homes are not accessible by the desludging vehicles so manual methods are employed which can be a health risk.
  • The sludge in urban areas is often not appropriately treated and is usually disposed off in an unhygienic way in a dumpsite.
  • Sewage from large installations like schools, hotels, prisons and hospitals are disposed of on a daily basis in untreated form into areas which are not approved.

Dump Sites and other waste disposal methods

The following are the sites in around Kigali City;

  • Nyanza site in Kicukiro District.
  • Nyabugogo swamp is the de facto dumpsite for all municipal wastes including those from industries that may be hazardous or carcinogenic in nature.
  • Vision 2020 at Gaculiro in Gasabo District is a waste treatment plant.
  • Nyarutarama in Gasabo District has stabilization ponds.
  • Septic tank systems with soak pits is the most used technology by a number  urban households
  • Traditional deep pit latrine is also used.
  • The waste is also burnt in localized dumping areas.

Companies That Deal In Waste Management

The following are recycling companies;

  • COCEN is the only recycling company in the whole city it handles community household waste converting it to Biomass fuel briquettes to be used in households and compost of organic fertilizer useful in crop production.
  • COOPED cooperative located at Nyamirambo sector, Nyarugenge District recycles a small percentage of plastic wastes.

There is also informal waste recycling for metal waste which is collected and sold in neighbour countries such as Uganda and Kenya where they are recycled.

Results of improper Waste Management

The improper waste management can result into the following;

  • Bad odour
  • Methane gas explosions
  • Risks of garbage landslides
  • Groundwater pollution

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