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Lake Muhazi Rwanda

Rwanda housing authority (RHA) with URAM International has recently completed the land control study and the elaboration of the town planning develeoppement project of the shores of lake Muhazi.
The wetlands and the lakes which for a long time were considered just like the urban environments, were used as dumps and outlets for the waste waters of the big towns, now that there is a worldwide awareness of the environmental importance of these spaces, they have regained their importance and restoration and development projects were designed for them.
Furthermore, in the last few years, these environments in numerous countries have been subjected to poorly controlled human occupation in general, generating threats and imbalances in the coastal ecosystems. Numerous factors are responsible for these perturbations (tourism development, housing, trampling and clearing of land) thus creating a constant pressure on the natural and land resources of these sensitive land areas.
Rwanda, a country of hills and lakes, was not spared this process and if its ill effects are not stopped in time, then they might create an imbalance in the natural environments such as the lakes with their strong ecological and environmental potential.
One of the country’s main lakes is lake Muhazi which in the last few years has gained in popularity because of its natural beauty and its proximity to Kigali. Its shores and surrounding sectors are under constant pressure due to the often uncontrolled urban sprawl which is a threat to the lake’s ecological integrity so that better land development control is needed as well as structuring of the space through a town planning master plan.

The awareness of this vision of sustainable and rational development of the country’s lakes, led the Rwandan government to undertake several protection and valorisation studies including the study on the « Study project for the elaboration of development and management plans for 17 inner lakes in Rwanda » so as to ensure the environmental protection of the shores of the lakes including those of lake Muhazi and the promotion of integrated development of these environments.

PDUI Lake muhazi

It is within this context that the Ministry of Infrastructures has carried out the Land Control Study and Elaboration of the Town Planning Master Plans for the shores of lake Muhazi. The study is part of this context and covers the Eastern (District of Kayonza) and the Northern shores (District of Gatsibo) of lake Muhazi over an area of 1000 meters.

The main objective of the study was to identify the sectors of the Northern and Eastern shores of lake Muhazi which are subjected to land pressure so as to establish protection belts and safeguard them. Within this context the study furthermore aimed at establishing a town planning master plan
to ensure better organisation of the site’s space and a rational and sustainable occupation of the shores of lake Muhazi. More precisely, the study aimed to :

  1. Evaluate the real trends of urban pressure ;
  2. Identify the areas of construction proliferation with a strong natural potential ;
  3. Locate the anarchical use of soils ;
  4. Record the land areas subjected to strong land pressure ;
  5. Identify the sectors to be safeguarded ;
  6. Define the means likely to ensure the protection of the sensitive areas ;
  7. Establish a town planning master plan for the spatial development of the lake’s shores.