Unlike many cities that associate development with sky towering state of the art structures, Kigali is embarking on developing an urban eco-tourism park in the wetland of Nyandungu aiming at positioning itself as an ideal Rwanda Safari holiday destination.
With funding from the Rwanda Green Fund, the efforts to change the Nyandungu wetland into the urban eco-tourism park are likely to start this week. The project is estimated to cost around Rwf2.4 billion and intends to achieve biodiversity increment, flood risk reduction, wetland conservation awareness, green jobs creation and promotion of safaris tours to Rwanda.
The Nyangungu wetland stretches across the areas of Ndera in the district of Gasabo and Nyarugunga in the district of Kicukiro. According to Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA), the increase in the human activities around the city of Kigali have resulted into the loss of bird species, the natural habitat along with species of wildlife that used to thrive on the wetland. Thus, the establishment of the wetland as an eco-tourism site would be a keen move to reverse this trend while providing a close up recreation point for travelers on Rwanda tours.
The project which intends to restore and conserve 130ha of wetland ecosystem will be implemented in a range of five (5) years but in two phases with the first one running from 2016 – 2018 covering restoration and construction whilst the second one will run from 2019 – 2020 concerned with eco-tourism park management.
The establishment of the eco-tourism park will among others include; native species introduction, restoration of terrestrial habitats and creation and restoration of habitats. The invasive tree species will be cleared on 26 ha along with laboratory analysis tests.
The wetland borders the Special Economic Zone and the Kanombe Airport which means that its rehabilitation will assist in offsetting the environmental danger presented by the industrial zone. The species of insects, birds both resident and migratory, amphibian, reptile and mammals are expected to increase with the habitat restoration and creation.
Regarding tourism, the park will feature paths, board walks, roads and bridges in marshy areas, nature viewing areas, toilets and picnic sites to make it worth exploring on Rwanda Safari and tours. The areas for wedding photographs and a cafe concession are also highlighted in the master plan.