Rwanda is praised for many different things, from being the land of 1000 hills, to hosting the few left mountain gorillas in the world! Nonetheless, the one thing that Rwandans are mostly proud of is being the cleanest City in Africa. Mainly because it is an attribute that each and every Rwandan actively works towards, unlike the God-given beauty that adorns the country.
Keeping Kigali clean is not natural, it requires an all-hands on deck attitude, effort and discipline from the general public, along with the institutionalization of activities, & passing laws that reinforce cleanliness in all aspects of life.
In 2008 there was a ban on the use of non-biodegradable plastic bags and other similar materials, accompanied by a fine of over $150 and a penalty of 6 to 12 months imprisonment for vendors caught selling them. This significantly enhanced the city, and set the country on a road to cleanliness holistically; while reducing pollution and creating a fresh air environment in the city.
Umuganda is a well-known practice that is conducted every last Saturday of the month, and takes root from the Rwandan culture of seeking solutions to our problems, and cooperation- It was the first step to not only a clean city, but also a clean country, clean households and an emphasis on personal hygiene for every citizen. Since 2009, Rwandan people in neighborhoods or in their respective homes come together to work on a specific project; it can be cleaning a public garden, helping someone fix their home (especially during rainy season where houses may get damaged) to planting trees. Our Hotel arranges tour packages for guests willing to partake in Umuganda activities through third party tour operators.
With laws to protect the environment, the Rwanda National Police set a fine ranging from 10.000 to 100.000 rwf for littering in the city. The city of Kigali District has also placed waste bins all around the city in order to encourage citizens and tourists to avoid littering. As of recently, there is a strict garbage collection system in place, trash is collected every Tuesday and each household pays 2000 Rwf per month, while companies pay around 10,000 Rwf public cleaning Tax per month, to ensure sustainable cleanliness in the City & the country at large. According to Reuters, the city is also trying to set up trash collection sites in all suburb areas, and is working with local businesses to install public toilets across the city. Additionally, hotels and restaurant must follow strict hygiene regulations to safeguard the health of the citizens.
The different environmental initiatives and awareness campaigns have had a domino effect in the people of the region, making different companies more aware about environmental conservation. At Five to Five Hotel we have switched light bulbs to energy-efficient bulbs; and constantly take care of our gardens to keep the environment green among other things.
You can Stay at our Hotel if you have decided to visit this best-kept secret in Africa, and get a chance to tour around the cleanest & green city in the region. We pick you up from the airport for free, and we have rates for every budget.