Rwanda’s bid to transition into a green economy has gathered momentum with the introduction of the cactus green park in the Kinyinya area of Kigali’s Gasabo District.
This medium-term development blueprint seeks to promote sustainable development, which encourages resource conservation as well as environmental protection.
Speaking at a workshop to disseminate findings from a study on the construction of environmental friendly green homes in the country – a joint initiative between Horizon Group and the National Fund for Climate Change and Environment (Fonerwa) in Kigali, Wednesday -Rose Mukankomeje, the director-general of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), yesterday, said this new way of real estate development will help better manage the country’s natural resources.
“I welcome the initiative and commend Horizion and Fonerwa for what, I must say, is an unprecedented move to revolutionalise the real estate industry in Rwanda,” she said.
“Reconciling our desired economic growth with the limits of nature is a real opportunity to rethink our economic model and change path, from one inevitable destruction to one of sustainable long-term and societal wellbeing.”
The project, on a 13.7-hectare piece of land, will have a total of 349 dwelling units in 137 buildings, said Eugene Haguma, the Horizon Group chief executive officer.
A large central part of the plot will be open space, with trees and shrubs. Multiple green pockets, which exude a potent freshness, will be created to promote intimate house clusters, and to reduce car movements, and rainwater flowing down at high velocity across the site.
Haguma said the project was inspired by Rwanda’s pursuit of a green economy under a medium-term development framework, the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRSII).
“Our team, together with Light Earth Designs and Fonerwa, worked tirelessly to come up with what is much more than a series of technical studies. It is a design and vision for an entire green neighbourhood – a proposal that combines multiple green innovations and a single cohesive and integrated pace, a pilot of green urban development that is replicable across Rwanda,” he said. “We hope that construction works will start mid 2016 and last for 18 months.”
The project will include facilities such as a neighbourhood centre, a school, communal green space for sports, and a waste water treatment plant. It will also have ‘green’ architecture with emphasis on low carbon, locally-made materials and low-built areas. Only 59 percent of the plot area will be built on, while the rest will be open green space, and plants and water bodies.
The ‘green’ economy approach under the EDPRS II agenda is geared at accelerating economic transformation, development of sustainable cities and villages, and key innovations. It includes piloting a green city, piloting a model mine, and attracting investors in green construction with the focus on green urbanisation and promoting green innovation in industry and the private sector.
Alex Mulisa, the fund management co-ordinator at Fonerwa, observed that the cactus homes are a testimony to Rwanda’s effort in promoting green growth.
“We are putting the citizens at the centre of all this,” he said.
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