Owners of residential and commercial buildings in the Rwandan capital, Kigali, will be charged a fee for liquid waste collection as the government moves to improve sanitation by investing in a new central sewage system.
A standard septic tank for a three-bedroomed house costs over Rwf1,500,000 ($1,740), a price experts say could go down were homeowners to contribute communally.
However, there is a need for the government to come up with proper standards to ensure the septic tanks are of high quality.
The government secured financing of $85.7 million from the European Investment Bank and the African Development Bank to construct a central sewage system.
The loan from EIB is repayable within 25 years at an interest rate of two per cent and a grace period of five years.
The money will mainly be recouped through charging those who use the system.
In the first construction phase, the sewage network will cover central Kigali, while a water treatment plant will be located in Nyarugenge District.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the priority for setting up the central sewage system is to control hazardous liquid waste, and the water treatment process will be geared towards environmental health and natural resource protection.
A tariff structure is currently under study by the Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac) to determine how much residents and businesses will be charged when waste is transported from their premises through the new sewage system.
“The same way property owners pay for getting water at their homes, they will be charged for using this sewage system,” said Wasac CEO Aime Muzola, adding,
“We shall announce the tariffs before the system is ready. We are currently procuring a supervisory company and a contractor for the construction of the sewage network.”
Previous estimates by Kigali City officials show that about 110m³ in liquid waste is generated in Kigali per day from commercial buildings and the few self-contained units in the suburbs, though this has been increasing as the city expands.
There are also unknown volumes of waste in pit latrines in homes in both upper- and lower-end suburbs.