“I wonder why the City Council has not done something about it. I am sure many have fallen in there.”

A year ago I was walking towards EcoBank in Remera and ahead of me were two young girls carrying big baskets for sale on their heads.

As I was pondering what the future held for these young people one of them vanished. Right in front of my eyes. The big basket she had been carrying was left helplessly rolling towards the road. I blinked and shook my head and looked again.

Then behold I saw her emerge from the pavement. It took me a few seconds to work out that she had disappeared into an open hole that seems to have made permanent residence in front of the Eco Bank. The poor thing bleeding at the knees quickly picked up her baskets and with down cast eyes, shyly walked away.

The people around glanced her direction and went on their way. I walked to the gaping hole and could not believe that it was bang in the centre of the pavement meant for pedestrians. Deep enough to swallow a 13 year old child. A year today every time I walk past the open hole I wonder why the City Council has not done something about it. I am sure many people have fallen in there. I wonder if nobody has broken a bone since its jagged sides are made of concrete.

In Europe or those developed countries such a hole would be faced off with warnings in big red and yellow writing to keep clear off it. I imagine if the parent of that child who got swallowed whole was to sue those responsible she would be compensated enough to send her to school for a couple of years.

I have also realised that since nobody has sued, the ones responsible for maintaining these pavements, then it will stay. An open ragged concrete toothed hole waiting for unsuspecting pedestrians to fall in.

Walking on pavements in Kigali is a source of pride for most of us who visit our neighbouring countries. They are clean and usually in the shade from the trees planted on the side.

I appeal to the Kigali City Council to please look into making sure that this kind of feature (a huge hole in the pavement) does not mar the wonderful job its doing.

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