Mass public transport is the way to go

An admired and prestigious country like Rwanda which has shown the example to Africa in terms of cleanliness, universal health care, environment protection should stop worshiping cars.
Traffic jam at Gishishu in Gasabo District, Kigali. File.
Traffic jam at Gishishu in Gasabo District, Kigali. File.

Editor,

RE: “Kigali City says road upgrades will ease traffic during major meetings” (The New Times, March 24).

An admired and prestigious country like Rwanda which has shown the example to Africa in terms of cleanliness, universal health care, environment protection should stop worshiping cars.

You can never build enough roads and highways to keep pace with traffic growth. Car use is a curse, financially (household income and hard currency drain), environmentally and emotionally (traffic stress).

The only solution is mass public transport. Imagine the country spending hard-earned dollars to drive one single person in a fuel guzzler. We spend 2 hours in traffic jams in Nairobi per day. School children wake up at 4 a.m. in order to be at school in time. Parents get home at 10pm by the time the kids are asleep. They don’t see each other.

I repeat, car use is a curse. I wish we could get rid of it. Install efficient and fast mass public transportation and tax cars and fuel heavily and punitively. Last but not least, following the CFTA launch in Kigali, we are left once again speechless before Rwanda’s success and prestige.

Kudos the Rwandan people and leaders! Let’s pray and hope that by the time you become the African Singapore in twenty years’ time, the forces of hate in the region that are still baying for the blood of their fellow countrymen will have been converted to peace and respect for human life.

Jean Kanyaru

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