Study visits: local examples of resilience
16 November 2023
An important feature of all Commonwealth local government conferences is the opportunity to observe local projects and examples relating to the event’s theme. As part of peer learning and sharing local government experiences of resilience, on the third day of the conference, CLGC2023 participants travelled out of the Kigali Convention Centre to visit various locations in the city.
One very important site was the Kigali Genocide Memorial, a place of remembrance and learning dedicated to the victims of the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda. It offers a powerful experience for visitors, promoting reconciliation and building peace through education. While at the Memorial, wreaths were laid by CLGF Chairperson, Rev Mpho MW Moruakgomo, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government, Mr Samuel Dusengiyumva and a minute's silence was observed in the gardens, before a tour of the museum. The extensive work that has taken place since the genocide in 1994 is a tribute to the country of Rwanda and its people, with much transformational development, especially in local government, which exemplifies the resilience of the people and determination to go forward.
KARAMA IDP Model Village
Visits also took place to KARAMA IDP Model Village. Following the Government’s introduction of the Integrated Development Programme (IDP) in 2007 as a comprehensive way to fast-track broad-based income generation and economic expansion, Karama is one of the IDP model villages initiated by the City of Kigali. Inaugurated in July 2019, it has 241 households with 1500 people from the three districts of Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Kicukiro. Social infrastructure includes a primary school, health provision and other income generating projects. The village also has access roads, water and electricity. Delegates were impressed by the way the IDP has helped the Government to build resilience, by addressing slums and promoting modern and functional settlements, good land use and environmental protection.
Nyandugu Eco Park
Nyandungu Eco-Park opened to the public in 2022 and represents a complete transformation of a degraded wetland to an educational and recreational eco-park in the heart of Rwanda’s capital city. The restoration and creation of the eco tourism park involved the planting of 17,000 trees, made up of 55 indigenous species. Delegates were able to tour the 121-hectare park and view the medicinal garden, Pope’s Garden, five catchment ponds, three recreation ponds as well as 10km of walkways and bike lanes. A very beautiful and green city, the Eco Park represents the single largest addition to public green space in Kigali in the city’s history and will serve as a blueprint for other wetlands in Kigali and across the country.
CLGF Secretary-General, Lucy Slack, said: "We are grateful to the city of Kigali for showcasing initiatives that demonstrate the importance and positive results of addressing the need for resilience, particularly in relation to planning."
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