Freight truck drivers from Dar es Salaam will no longer have to worry about the long distances traversing Kigali to the DRC and Burundi because they will be using a 53-kilometre Ngoma-Ramiro bypass road that is under upgrade in Ngoma District, Eastern Province. ALSO READ: FEATURED: How Japan-funded construction projects in Eastern Province benefit Rwanda and EAC According to freight truck drivers, improving the Ngoma-Ramiro route will improve transit, lessen traffic congestion, and shorten the time it takes to deliver products. According to Hassan Twagirayezu who has been a cargo truck driver for the past four years, it takes him four to five days to get from Dar es Salaam to Goma. He said that traffic congestion, particularly on the Kayonza-Kigali highway, has occasionally prevented him from making timely deliveries of his goods, but now that the road is being renovated, business will be as usual. He said: “The Kayonza-Kigali highway is particularly congested due to the number of cars that use the road, making it difficult for truck drivers to reach locations with such traffic jams. The new route will improve transit and minimise traffic congestion; a less crowded road will cut down on that time and also reduce the wear and tear on vehicles, leading to cost savings for freight companies.” As an alternative to the congested Ngoma-Kayonza-Kigali road, it will also function as a main road and bypass for goods transported from the upcoming airport in Bugesera, which will have a significant positive impact on Rwanda's economic development. ALSO READ: New airport will be at 70% of completion by end 2023 – Kagame Besides expectations of improving transit, lessening traffic congestion, and shortening the amount of time it takes to deliver products from the Indian Ocean through the Central Corridor to Rwanda and neighbouring countries, the road might lead to reduced prices of goods and create employment opportunities, according to Nathalie Niyonagira, Mayor of Ngoma District. She said: “Reducing the journey to deliver goods means that prices of goods will reduce because transport expenses will be cut, as well as increasing the well-being of our communities, who are now employed in the works of construction, land owners near the road have testified an increase in value of their land and we urge our residents to make good use and protect the infrastructures provided to them.” The Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) is responsible for implementing the 53-kilometre road improvement project. With a 10-year grace period and a 40-year loan payback term with a concessionary interest rate of 0.01 per cent annually, the renovation of the Ngoma-Ramiro road is funded by a financial agreement that the governments of Rwanda and Japan signed for about $68 million. ALSO READ: What will it take to have disaster-resilient roads? Local communities near the road have started to benefit from the construction project, as it has created job opportunities, boosted the local economy, and enhanced the quality of life for those living in the area. Aimable Nzirorera, who has worked on the road’s construction for the past six months, told The New Times that he was able to save money that he used to refurbish his home in Kazo Sector, Ngoma District. Jane Uwurugo believes that the water channels that are being constructed on the roadsides will help reduce the impacts of erosion caused by the previously unimproved Ngoma-Ramiro road. Set for completion in 2024, the Ngoma-Ramiro road improvement will be a bypass for trucks from Tanzania to use the Rusumo-Ngoma-Bugesera-Rusizi route to deliver goods to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) instead of the Rusumo-Kigali-Huye-Rusizi road.