29 Dec

During my stay in Kanjongo Sector, I had the opportunity to participate in construction work and learn valuable lessons. My construction site was an extension of Kumbya Kivu Life Ecolodge. The facility is owned by a local investor who is determined to make a difference in his community.

In his 1943 paper, titled Theory of Human Motivation, Abraham Maslow documented his findings on the universal needs of society. The bottom-up classification, illustrated in the said paper, coined Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. The widely discussed theorem recognizes shelter as a basic need. 

Over the centuries, housing has evolved to suit the advanced needs of modern societies, but the traditional Rwandan house has remained a powerful symbol of cultural significance. Our forefathers incorporated cultural norms into their architectural designs. There was meaning attached to the dimensions, measurements and materials used.

The traditional Rwandan house is re-emerging in contemporary architecture. For example, the designer of the Kigali Convention Center's dome was inspired by tradition. It is encouraging to see the traditional house holding its ground amid the unprecedented Westernization of the construction sector.

In the tourism industry, eco-lodges are becoming accommodation facilities of choice among nature enthusiasts. In Rwanda, more and more designers are borrowing a leaf from traditional builders. 

The new uniquely designed accommodation facilities are sprouting up in and around the most popular tourist attractions. Bisate Lodge, for example, is an upgrade of grass-thatched huts. It offers an ultimate wilderness experience for the high-end clientele.