Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced the 15 winning cities of the 2021-2022 Global Mayors Challenge, a worldwide innovation competition that supports and spreads cities’ most promising ideas. These 15 winners are being recognized for designing the boldest and most ambitious urban innovations to emerge from the global COVID-19 pandemic. The winning ideas address one or more of four current issue areas in cities including economic recovery and inclusive growth; health and wellbeing; climate and environment; and gender and equality.
Kigali, Rwanda’s adopting proven rainwater-harvesting technologies in informal communities here awarded one million dollars in addition to technical support and coaching over three years. The goal of adopting proven rainwater-harvesting technologies in informal communities is to provide an alternative water source and smart waste solution for green and resilient recovery in Kigali informal areas, to improve resident livelihoods.
“I am deeply honored to receive this $ 1 Million Grand Prize from the Global Mayors Challenge 2021, on behalf of the City of Kigali. I wish to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Awards Committee for believing in the potential of our sustainable and innovative solutions to improve the quality of life for Kigali’s informal dwellers while enabling them to adapt to the impacts of Covid-19.
Our project will actively engage residents in ongoing informal settlements upgrading projects, helping them to leverage green technology to harvest rainwater as an alternative source to meet their daily water needs in addition to providing them with smart waste management facilities.” Rubingisa Pudence – Mayor of City of Kigali.
Adopting proven rainwater-harvesting technologies in informal communities will have long-lasting impact on the well-being of the city residents.
77.8% of households attested that harvested rainwater would help to reduce water bills that will help residents have more money to feed their children.
“We have a big challenge to get water to flush the toilets because we only have indoor toilets. Therefore, if rainwater is used it will give us more water and reduce monthly water bills” said one resident.
Regarding waste, another resident said “we keep bags out, uncovered and when it rains everything becomes a mess and water is mixed with waste and this leads to rotting…. new modern/smart waste management will increase the hygiene and sanitation in our apartment.”
The system would introduce timely collection to address complaints on collection delays.
The resident survey we conducted recommended the “need to educate the residents about better usage of water. For example, they don’t know how use less water for flushing toilets (pressing the right button)”
“As the world works to address the profound public health and economic effects of the ongoing pandemic, cities can implement innovative ideas at a pace that national governments simply can’t match,” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and Bloomberg L.P. and 108th Mayor of New York City. “Our fifteen winners offer bold, achievable plans to improve health, reduce unemployment, empower women, and more. Collectively, they have the potential to improve millions of their residents’ lives – and the most successful solutions will inspire cities around the world to embrace them.”