Members of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) on September 15, expressed dissatisfaction with the City of Kigali officials over the delayed construction of the Gisozi-Karuruma bridge in Gasabo District. They said the situation negatively affects the movement of residents especially during the rainy season. The bridge is among the concerns highlighted by the Auditor General for the financial year ending June 30, 2022. It is part of the Kigali Infrastructure Project (KIP), officials said. The project consists of 215 kilometre-road network in the city, with an estimated budget of more than Rwf200 billion. ALSO READ: Kigali to renovate key roads in major infrastructure upgrades MP Jean René Niyorurema said it was realised that during the rainy season, the residents in that area face challenges when it is flooded, suggesting that “residents might have been disregarded”. “This bridge has been cited in about three (audit) reports. You always give us a commitment that the bridge will be completed. You should tell us whether the Auditor General of State Finances should not audit it again if its construction is impossible,” Niyorurema said, asking the city leaders to explain what they will do to help people cross the bridge during this rainy season. The Vice Mayor in charge of Urbanisation and Infrastructure in the City of Kigali, Merard Mpabwanamaguru, told lawmakers the construction of the bridge required engineering and many studies, including a geotechnical study and a detailed hydrological study – because through the Karuruma wetland passes River Nyabugogo which originates from Lake Muhazi. He indicated that the levels of water increased because of climate change effects, and the rate of water infiltration into the soil reduced as a result of a change in land use in the city. The bridge, he pointed out, will be elevated such that it is able to mitigate flood impact (on travels), indicating that it will traverse about 200 metres of (Karuruma) wetland between Jabana, Kabuye, and Gisozi areas of Gasabo District. Regarding the budget, he informed The New Times that it is still undetermined as the contract has not been signed and the bills of quantities have not been finalised. ALSO READ: Inside Kigali’s $12m plan to curtail destructive floods Recourse to a subcontractor The Chairperson of the Council of the City of Kigali, Didas Kayihura Muganga, agreed with PAC members that the construction of the bridge was long overdue. But, Muganga said the bridge was included in the city’s plan to construct many kilometres of tarmac roads (under the Kigali Infrastructure project) and the contractor who won the tender for the project exposed a concern that he does not have the required technology to set it up. As a result, he said, through the negotiations he had with the City of Kigali, it was concluded that he subcontracts another who has the required skills. The initial feasibility studies for the bridge were revised, and took into consideration hydraulic and engineering aspects, he indicated. “What remains is the negotiation between the contractor and the subcontractor,” he said. According to Mpabwanamaguru, the contract negotiation between the contractor and subcontractor will be finalised by the end of this month, and the work will start in December this year. He indicated that the work plan given by the subcontractor comprises nine months (for the bridge to have been constructed). Other issues exposed by the Auditor General in the City of Kigali include delays of up to 1,294 days – or more than three years – in paying suppliers for the services they offered to the city. City leaders replied that the issue results from the fact that the budget is sometimes not readily available to pay invoices of suppliers. They committed to generating additional funds through the city's own revenue as a way to tackle the issue.