Rwanda: Nyandungu Eco-Park Expansion to Affect 74 Properties

At least 74 plots will be expropriated in order to pave way for Nyandungu Eco-tourism Park expansion, Marie-Solange Muhirwa, the City of Kigali’s chief urban planner, told The New Times.

The 121-hectare recreational space and wildlife habitat in the City of Kigali is poised for a significant expansion, adding an additional 43 hectares, according to the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

Among others, nearly 200 bird species that had migrated due to wetland degradation returned to the park after its rehabilitation. The park receives close to 6,000 visitors every month.

ALSO READ: Exploring the breathtaking Nyandungu Eco-Park

“Due to budget availability, we are expropriating in phases. The first phase has 14 plots. The proposed extension will expropriate 74 plots,” Muhirwa said.

As noted, the precise budget for the expansion project will be determined after a comprehensive study aimed at identifying key features to be integrated into the park is done.

In this case, according to REMA, it is not eviction of properties but expropriation because landowners had land titles nearby the wetland. The area to be expropriated is the one close to a nearby hill where houses and businesses will be removed and be duly compensated.

Initial efforts to demarcate the area to be expanded commenced, with three kilometers of fencing slated for completion by end February. In the expansion, additional facilities to the park will include kiosks, boardwalks, playgrounds, artificial lakes, and more, catering to the evolving desires of visitors.

One notable testament to the park’s rejuvenation is the publication of “Falling for the Birds of Kigali,” a comprehensive collection documenting the bird diversity within Nyandungu Eco-Park.

Nyandungu Eco-Park which cost over Rwf6 billion over six years is the culmination of a visionary initiative aimed at revitalizing six wetlands across Kigali.

The government is poised to replicate this success by rehabilitating five additional wetlands across Kigali, with a budget of more than Rwf100 billion for the endeavor.

The five wetlands are Rwampara (65ha), Gikondo (162ha), Rugenge-Rwintare (65ha), Kibumba (68ha), and Nyabugogo (131ha), underscoring the constant dedication to environmental conservation and sustainable urban development.

“We embarked on this journey with the development of the Kigali Wetland Master Plan, outlining the intended use of each wetland. Some areas required extensive rehabilitation before they could be repurposed,” said Faustin Munyazikwiye, the Deputy Director General of REMA.

“Nyandungu wetland, our initial focus, not only mitigates flooding within the city but also serves as a sanctuary for biodiversity, including rare avian species that have experienced a resurgence.”

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