September 29, 2022

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The Role of GGGI in the promotion of Green Buildings in Rwanda

Mr Arrabothu Dheeraj Senior Green Building Officer-Global Green Growth Institute-Rwanda

By Ange de la Victoire DUSABEMUNGU

Rwanda has been one of the earliest members of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) since 2012. And recently, GGGI Rwanda has completed its 10th anniversary.

When it comes to specifically the kind of work that GGGI is doing in collaboration with policymakers and development partners here in Rwanda, they are focusing on four to five different thematic areas.

According to Mr Arrabothu  Dheeraj, Senior GGGI Rwanda Green Building Officer, “the first one is green urbanization, the second one is around the building sector given that there is a lot of buildings that are yet to be built, not just in Rwanda, but any other developing country, then you also have focus around mobility that’s looking at E mobility or non-motorized forms of transport infrastructure, then we are looking at another critical area, which is waste management where we have a lot of work to do and the fifth one is the green entrepreneurship.”

“So a lot of all these thematic areas we have been doing, we have been advancing a lot with respect to developing policies around cleaner urbanization, developing a national roadmap for greening the secondary cities of Rwanda, supporting the districts in developing District Development Strategies, for example, when it comes to building sector, which is very close to my heart, we were closely involved in the development of green building code for Rwanda, where the government of Rwanda was leading the entire process and we have champions within the government institutions who were leading this initiative.” Mr Arrabothu Dheeraj explained as he spoke to the University students last week in Kigali

“Of course, we do have a lot of work. That’s interesting work around waste management, especially in collaboration with the city of Kigali when it comes to solid waste, but we are also looking at electronic waste. So there is some interesting work around the space, especially around how we can improvise the existing landfill site of Kigali city.” He added. 

“When it comes to E-mobility, I was particularly involved in this particular piece of work, especially the public bike sharing that you see on the streets of Kigali city.” He said

Promotion of Green transport also is part of GGGI mandate

“This was an idea that was initially initiated by GGGI, almost three to four years back where we were involved in doing some kind of surveys. So we went to Rubavu, and Musanze cities where we interacted with the existing bike owners, the people who use the bikes on a daily basis for work and we were trying to understand from them, what exactly do they use the bike for? If they were to have a bike sharing system? Will they be willing to pay for it? How much are they willing to pay for it? How should the system be designed? So there is a lot of interesting work and we were very happy that eventually we have the public bike sharing system, which has come up with the Kigali City, and now we understand they have plans to expand it to other secondary cities of the world as well.” Mr Arrabothu Dheeraj revealed.

I&M Bank Head Office is an environmental friendly building in Kigali

“So whatever work that GGGI does, it’s again trying to understand what the challenges on ground are? How can we address those challenges within the limited resources that are available to us by collaborating and coordinating with all the different stakeholder groups? So that has been our primary focus so far.” He said.

 What are the lessons learned or some of the challenges?

“I think we always have this problem of how can we involve youth more into these types of projects? We do involve youth to some extent, but we are always challenged. How can we involve them more in terms of designing these projects or implementing these projects? I think this is an area that we are still improving. How can we bring Academia? How can we bring the kind of research that is being done to academia to kind of look at the solutions that we have? Are there any other interesting exclusions that we can bring, I mean out of this research” He said.

ALSO READ: GGGI Rwanda building partnership with local initiatives to involve more youth in solving Plastic Waste Challenge

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