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Lack of public toilets forces Kigali City to turn to petrol stations for help (Source: Africa Review | Date: Sunday, February 10  2013) 

February 10, 2013
Lack of public toilets in Kigali City

Lack of public toilets in Kigali City

Given the shortage of public toilets in the city, Kigali City Council (KCC) is now urging owners of petrol stations to allow members of the public to use their restrooms at a fee.

Kigali has only five public toilets, one located in the city centre at the main-roundabout, another one near the city market in the Central Business District and the remaining three located in the Kimironko, Remera and Nyabugogo bus termini.

City Council officials said they are keen to engage owners of petrol stations to allow the public to use their facilities, because they are evenly distributed in the city and are located near the roads, making them easily accessible to passengers and pedestrians.

Although countries in the EAC charge users between Rwf50 and Rwf100 for the service, in developed countries public toilets are free of charge.

According to Reuben Ahimbisibwe, director of infrastructure at the City Council, the current master plan in the city did not provide spaces for public restrooms.

“We expect city developers, especially those putting up big buildings to provide space that can be used as public washrooms,” he said.

Mr Ahimbisibwe, however, said that it is normally a matter of negotiation with the investors, who the city officials believe can make more money by providing such services.

“Some may reject the proposal while others may accept it, but so far none has refused. Many of the buildings in the city offer such services but the public is not aware of them, there is a need for sensitisation,” he added.

Service charges

The official clarified that city officials were not entering into a partnership with petrol station owners but encouraging them to consider the idea of even constructing new public toilets, which can be an extra source of revenue for them.

“It was a simple negotiation; we designed blueprints of what we thought the latrines should look like; investors will be issued with quick construction permits before the end of February,” he explained.

Ten petrol station owners have so far accepted the proposal and the city seeks to initiate negotiations to bring more petrol station owners on board.

Francoise Karimwabo, a toilet cleaner at the bus terminal in Remera, Gasabo District said she collects “a lot of money daily” because of the high demand for the service.

“We receive an average of 300 people per day wanting to use the toilets, but there are days we serve around 800 people. We charge between Rwf100 and Rwf200 depending on the services,” Ms Karimwabo said.

However, she added some people come and use the facilities but refuse to pay service charges.

“We used to have some passengers from different parts of the country with a mindset that such services should not be paid for. Many are old people from remote areas, others are beggars, children and other passers by who claim they don’t have a penny to pay,” she added.

The public also appreciates the cleanliness of public toilets. Charles Karangwa, who uses the facilities regularly, says most of the public toilets are clean.

“Before, these facilities were in the hands of the state, they were dirty and people were reluctant to use them. These ones are clean thanks to privatisation of such facilities,” Mr Karangwa said.

According to statistics from the Ministry of Infrastructure, the country’s total latrine coverage is 96 per cent however, very few households in Rwanda have installed flush toilets.

Story by RODRIGUE RWIRAHIRA

Link to the original story:

http://www.africareview.com//News/Lack-of-toilets-in-Kigali/-/979180/1690206/-/aobtji/-/index.html?relative=true

Posted from WordPress for BlackBerry.

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