Rehabilitation works for Rubavu District are in motion to accelerate its urbanization and development.
The move is in line with the government’s recommendation to foster rapid development and expansion for secondary cities.
Rubavu is one of the country’s secondary cities among others that include Huye, Muhanga, Musanze, Nyagatare, and Rusizi districts.
The country has a vision to accelerate urbanisation for its transformational potential and its association with higher productivity, and higher income opportunities.
To achieve this, the country’s National Strategy for Transformation sets, as one of its key objectives, the transformation of Rwanda’s economic geography by facilitating urbanisation and promoting secondary cities.
As of now, there is an ongoing inspection for buildings that need renovation and expansion in Rubavu district, for example in the Rugerero, Nyamyumba, and Rubavu sectors.
Previously, an inspection was conducted where 70 commercial buildings in the town centre were temporarily closed; to be reopened under commitments signed to get all the buildings renovated within a maximum of two years.
Speaking to the New Times, Rubavu District Mayor, Ildephonse Kambogo, said there has been a request for property owners to get their buildings upgraded yet in vain.
“In the last two years, the district has been requesting them to upgrade their properties. They have been reminded several times and this week was another reminder. We decided to close them upon assessment, until they make a commitment with the sector to confirm the relocation and construction dates,” said Kambogo.
A city is upgraded progressively, but we need consistency in enforcement, he added.
“We have faced challenges of COVID-19 and earthquakes, financial capacities, too. We advised them to join efforts, for land owners with no financial capacity to join those with capacity and agree on the management of the property.”
According to present statistics collected for phase one by Gisenyi Sectors, there are more than 100 houses for commercial use which are supposed to get upgraded.
Residents speak out
Though there is no approved Master Plan for the town yet, it is in its final stages, according to the Executive Secretary of Rubavu District, Olivier Ruhamyambuga.
“Master plan is in the final stage, we are waiting for the ministerial meeting for approval,” he told The New Times.
Alfred Hanyurwimfura, who has worked as a businessman in Rubavu District for 20 years, welcomed the planned development noting that it will boost development.
“Renovation of Rubavu town is very important as a lot of buildings are old. There are a lot of old houses too,” he said.
Hanyurwimfura also believes its best for some buildings to be completed first before traders can relocate as required.
“We do not hesitate to relocate from these old houses, but we ask the district to get buildings, such as the market, to be completed so that we find where to go,” he said.
Rajesh Mani, an Indian national skilled in construction commended the town for the current and planned progress.
“It has to look new! There should be upgrading of course for the town. I see it is progressing and glowing a lot.”
The New Times