Best Initiatives of Cleaning Addis Ababa like Kigali

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Best Initiatives of Cleaning Addis Ababa like Kigali

By Kassahun Chanie

According to UN Environment Program Head Eric Solheim, Kigali is the "cleanest city on the planet" in terms of green initiatives and the absence of street litter in 2018. Recently arrived visitors to Kigali have expressed delight at the remarkable standards of cleanliness and hygiene that the city still maintains. In fact, Kigali's urban makeover has made it a global landmark.

How was this turnaround accomplished? Kigali was a typical big city at the turn of the century, with millions of people, slums, and rubbish. The capital's rapidly increasing population expansion exacerbated the situation. The population of the city has increased from over 350,000 in 1996 to nearly 1.2 million today, with more growth anticipated.

Rwandans observe "Umuganda," a tradition of communal collaboration and self-help, on the final Saturday of each month. In the old Rwandan way of life, people would ask their neighbors, relatives, and friends for help when they needed it to complete a challenging task. Similarly, the Kigalians tidy up parts of the city, collecting any trash that may be lying around.

Along with clearing space for community gardens and installing new classrooms or home restrooms for households without any, this involvement also includes constructing new roadways. Shops in the city stay closed during Umuganda, and cars are taken off the road to make driving easier. Kigali has declared "Umuganda" to be obligatory, with severe penalties for noncompliance.

To instill a sense of cleanliness in Kigalian culture, the authorities not only enforce laws but actively run awareness initiatives. Trash discharges with attractive designs are thoughtfully positioned in public spaces such as walkways, retail centers, and transit hubs. Addis Ababa is also on the same track to follow the footsteps of Kigali while implementing Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s decision of nationwide clean city initiative.