May 19, 2024

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REMA to expand Nyandungu Eco-Tourism Park (NEP) as Rehabilitation of New swamps set to commence

The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has announced that Nyandungu Eco-Tourism Park (NEP), a recreational space and wildlife habitat in the City of Kigali will be expanded.

Currently spanning 121 hectares, encompassing 70 hectares of wetland and 50 hectares of forest with more than 62 indigenous plant species, the park is slated to get an additional 43 hectares. Close to 200 bird species that had migrated due to wetland degradation returned to the park after its rehabilitation.

 The development comes at a time when the government is poised to replicate Nyandungu Eco-Tourism Park’s (NEP) success by rehabilitating five additional wetlands across Kigali, with a budget of more than Rwf100 billion for the endeavour.

Frank Muzungu, the Managing Director of Kigali Car Rentals and Tours, a local tour operating company, says the rehabilitation and turning of swamps into ecotourism parks will give visitors a variety of attractions to choose from.

“The investment that the government has put in including rehabilitation of swamps among others, we will see many tourists come into the country along with increased appetite for domestic tourism, the sector’s future is bright,” Frank Muzungu, the Managing Director of Kigali Car Rentals and Tours.

 The five wetlands are Rwampara (65ha), Gikondo (162ha), Rugenge-Rwintare (65ha), Kibumba (68ha), and Nyabugogo (131ha), underscoring the constant dedication to environmental conservation and sustainable urban development.

Faustin Munyazikwiye, the Deputy Director General of REMA, said the budget for the expansion project will be determined following a comprehensive study aimed at identifying key features to be integrated into the park.

“The expansion will usher in a host of new facilities to enhance the park’s offerings. The additions will include kiosks, boardwalks, playgrounds, artificial lakes, and more, catering to the evolving desires of visitors, Munyazikwiye said.

“The demands of our visitors for enhanced amenities have been duly noted and will be incorporated as part of the park’s expansion,” he added.

The initial focus was not only to mitigate flooding within the city but also to serve as a sanctuary for biodiversity, including rare avian species that have experienced a resurgence.

He further elaborated on the park’s transformation, highlighting the reintroduction of native plant life and the diverse recreational opportunities it now offers to residents and visitors alike.

Nyandungu Eco-Tourism Park (NEP) rehabilitation has contributed to over 4,000 green jobs and the park’s monthly influx of approximately 6,000 visitors. The success of Nyandungu Eco-Park underscores the transformative impact of collaborative efforts in shaping Kigali’s future.

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