Cement shortage: Construction stakeholders decry disruptions

Key players in the local construction sector and other stakeholders have decried the shortage of cement on the market, which has seen prices skyrocket. 

Cement prices have been going up steadily since March.

Damascene Nsabimana, a Kigali-based civil engineer, told Business Times that the shortage has since resulted in significant rises in prices, derailing several construction projects. 

Cimerwa this week attributed the shortage to temporary shutdown of its plant in Bugarama, Rusizi District to allow for routine maintenance and upgrades.

But the company said supplies would return to normal in a few weeks and blamed price increases on speculation.

As a result of the shortage, a bag of Cimerwa cement rose from Rw8700 to Rwf13000 in some areas – representing a 49 per cent rise.

The shortage has also pushed up prices for imported cement imports. For instance, Hima and Tororo cement (Uganda), which previously went for Rwf8, 700 and Rwf8, 900 (a bag) is now Rwf14, 000 and Rwf15, 000, respectively.

“The shortage of cement will automatically affect the industry,” Nsabimana said.

Comerwa is Rwanda’s sole cement maker.

It is, however, still unclear how the shortage will impact the country’s tax receipts.



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