Activities to upgrade 66 km Huye-Nyaruguru road have been launched with a target to be completed in 30 months to boost economic cooperation, create jobs and attract tourism investments in the districts.
Speaking during the launch, Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, the State Minister in charge of Transport at the Ministry of Infrastructure, said activities are going to start where properties have already been expropriated.
The road includes the part from Huye to Kibeho Holy land, Kibeho-Ndago, Ndago-Munini, Ndago-Ngoma and Kibeho urban roads.
It will have street lights while the urban roads will also have pedestrian paths.
Once completed, the road will have cost Rwf70 billion which is a loan from Exim- Import Bank from China.
“The expropriation will cost over Rwf4 billion. After completing 10km where expropriation has been completed, they will continue with 10 km more after expropriating and compensating people. Expropriation will be carried out gradually before embarking on each part,” he said.
He stressed that 50 per cent of the budget should remain in the hands of community who will get jobs, start businesses, supply raw materials, among others.
“We want youth and women to be the primary workforce so that we curb unemployment,” he said.
The official noted that based on the contractor’s experience, the works will be accelerated so that by the end of 2020, pilgrims can go for the annual pilgrimage to Kibeho Holy land on a tarmac road.
The road was contracted to SINOHYDRO, a chinese state-owned enterprise which will partner with Horizon Rwanda Ltd to implement the project.
Francois Habitegeko, the Mayor of Nyaruguru District, said the road will boost business cooperation with Huye District and investments in religious tourism in Kibeho holy land.
“Farmers and companies used to face high cost of transport of agricultural goods such as tea due to poor roads, especially during the rainy seasons. But this is going to be resolved. We hope that many people will get out of poverty by getting jobs and others creating jobs in the services industry in about three years”.
Kibeho receives between 500,000 and 600,000 pilgrims every year and the government has pledged land as incentives for investors who want to invest in the hospitality industry in the district. There is also a project to build a very big basilica that can host between 8,000 and 10,000 people
Jean Marie Vianney Twizerimana, a motorcyclist who uses the road daily said most people complain that their vehicles are always in garages due to the poor state of the road.
“I spend an hour taking a passenger from Huye to Kibeho and two hours during rainy seasons, when the bridges get damaged due to landslides but with new improved road, it can reduce to 20 minutes,” he said.