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    Wednesday, January 24, 2024

    Kigali - Rwf20 Billion Needed for 'Ecotourism Lake' in Masaka

    Michel Nkurunziza

    In a bid to enhance ecotourism and bolster flood management initiatives, Rwf19.8 billion is required to construct essential facilities paving the way for an ecotourism lake in Masaka sector, Kicukiro district.

    Davis Bugingo, the Flood Management and Water Storage Development Division Manager at Rwanda Water Resources Board (RWB), told The New Times in an interview on Tuesday.

    The completion of a detailed design for the Masaka dyke, a structure crucial for creating the ecotourism lake in Masaka wetland within the City of Kigali, has been confirmed. A dyke, as explained by Bugingo, serves as a barrier or embankment to regulate water, preventing flooding from rivers, lakes, or oceans.

    Engineers emphasize the necessity of constructing the dyke to contain water before transforming the area into a lake suitable for recreational activities. This development aligns with Kigali's initiative to allocate 25% of its space for recreational areas.

    Once the Masaka Dyke is completed, it will form a lake, paving the way for diverse recreational activities.

    "Masaka Dyke will create suitable conditions for an ecotourism recreation park, immediately upstream and around the lake," officials from the Rwanda Water Resources Board said, however, the specific study on ecotourism and recreational activities will follow the dyke's construction.

    Bugingo clarified that existing studies primarily focused on the dyke, the Isaka-Kigali railway, and the Kanombe-Masaka roadway crossing the wetland for flood detention purposes.

    "The main infrastructure is the dyke, which will serve as the crossing facility for the railway (Isaka-Kigali) and roadway (Kanombe-Masaka) in the Masaka wetland and for flood detention purposes," Bugingo explained.

    Rwanda Water Resources Board will manage the Masaka dyke and lake, while institutions like the City of Kigali, Rwanda Development Board, or private sectors are expected to develop ecotourism and recreational activities post-dyke construction.

    Inyange Industries to be protected

    Inyange Industries, an agro-processing facility situated in the flood-prone area, will be shielded from potential flooding risks. The feasibility study indicates that a multi-purpose dyke, designed to cater to railway, road, flood management, and lake storage purposes, will pass through the area. Plans also include the construction of a freight terminal station.

    The anticipated Kampala-Kigali Standard Gauge Railway is expected to have a freight terminal station close to the recreational lake in the wetland, with provisions for 13 drainage culverts.

    The City of Kigali aims to convert 22-25% of its area into recreational spaces, and a substantial portion of the wetlands, approximately 15.76 square kilometers, will be rehabilitated for recreational purposes according to the Kigali urban wetland master plan.

    The master plan, developed by the Ministry of Environment, outlines Kigali's wetland area at 7,700 hectares or 77 square kilometers.

    The rehabilitation of wetlands aligns with the broader vision of enhancing environmental quality and promoting recreational spaces within the city.

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