In recent years, there has been a growing divide in Rwanda’s built environment. Modern glass-fronted office towers are now a feature of Kigali’s central business district; western-style luxury housing estates are appearing in the green-belt suburbs, while the poorest households live in small earth and timber homes on steep hillsides or in flood-prone valleys.
The challenges for Kigali are typical of any country where cities are growing quickly. In the aftermath of genocide, many people moved to the capital, hoping to be closer to jobs, schools and health services. Infrastructure and town planning controls were almost non-existent, and so large unplanned and unserviced neighbourhoods quickly grew up. Currently, about 90% of the buildings in Kigali are ones which were constructed during that time of unplanned development. Rwanda’s hilly terrain makes town planning and the development of urban areas difficult. Building construction and the provision of roads, water, energy and sanitation services is both complex and expensive.
Again, most of the images here are screen grabs from video.