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What is the Progress on the Development of Nyandungu Eco-Tourism Park Project?

In May 2016, Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) signed a five years’ project implementation agreement up to 2021 with Rwanda Green Fund (FONERWA) to implement a project titled ‘’ Nyandungu Urban Wetland Eco-tourism Pak project with the main outcome of “Nature reserve and urban park created to increase biodiversity, reduce flood risk, manage pollution, raise awareness of wetland conservation and create green jobs”.


In the beginning, the project was designed with the first three years to focus on the development of detailed wetland restoration plans and designs to serve both conservation and eco-tourism purposes. The last two years of project were to focus on the transition period and preparation of handover of the park management from Government to the suitable identified park operator.  


The project being the first of its kind in Rwanda that required some multi-disciplined experts with experience in designing and implementation. The project activities were stalled because of long process of reviewing and redesigning initial proposed conceptual designs and later at the start of implementation of revised design, it was realised that the project needed more experienced contractor and thus changing the contractor. 


Among other causes which delayed the project activities include the unexpected adverse climatic conditions with heavy rain that caused heavy floods and resulted into the unforeseen site conditions which affected the progress of project activities, due to destruction of completed works such as walkways the planted trees as well as delaying the start of some activities such as construction of roads, restaurant and park information center. 


This was further worsened by COVID-19 pandemic lockdown and restricted working conditions to meet prevention measures set by the Government to prevent the continued spread of Coronavirus. 


The above-mentioned challenges heavily affected the project activities and registered an 8 months’ delay, at the instance that it will not be completed in 2020 as it was planned in the initial signed contract with new contractor.
However, consultations between REMA, the contractor and the supervisor of project activities ended up by extending the project for other eight (8) months. 


A revised working schedule was agreed upon with the contractor (Afrilandscapes Ltd) with a target to complete the project by end of May 2021, and the recreational Park will be ready for utilization, with official launch anticipated in July 2021.


The progress of landscaping activities has been progressing well, while tangible progress on infrastructures is expected in the few coming months.


The main elements of the Nyandungu Urban Wetland Eco-tourism Pak being implemented on 121.8 hectares include flood attenuation infrastructures such as water retention ponds, drainage channels, gabions, and infrastructures for recreational, education and awareness raising purposes that include recreational water ponds, a fig forest with native plant species around the boundaries of the wetland, nature look like lawns, a medicinal plant garden, 1 kilometer service road and parking, 9.7 kilometer walkways and bicycle lanes, public toilets, restaurant, park information center and popes garden for religious related tourism. The park will be powered by 70% solar power and 30% on grid power.

 

 

 

 

 

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