Govt allocates Rwf4.3bn for mobile bridges

A man is carried through a flooded area in Nyabugogo. The government is set to bring in mobile bridges to deal with problem. / File

Two mobile bridges worth Rwf4.3 billion will be available in Rwanda for intervention in case floods and landslides damage roads and bridges, the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning has announced.

The money is part of a proposed budget of Rwf2.8 trillion for the 2019/2020 fiscal year of which infrastructure is on top with RwF551.1 budget.

The Minister for Finance, Uzziel Ndagijimana, said major projects in infrastructure include building and expanding roads as well as bridges which include mobile bridges among other infrastructure to improve the transport sector.

Building mobile bridges will come in handy because when bridges are damaged by landslides and flooding, it affects movement of goods.

Last year, damages caused by natural calamities cost Rwanda more than Rwf204 billion.

For instance, a $12 million Gatare Tea Factory in Nyamasheke District rejected four tonnes of tea leaves over deterioration because of delays caused by the destruction of bridges and roads due to heavy rains in 2018.

Figures by the Ministry of Emergency indicate that from January to May 2018, heavy rains destroyed about 50 bridges and 60 roads while in 2017 over 13 roads and 49 bridges were also damaged.

He said that there have been many such cases across the country which triggered the plan to buy mobile bridges while awaiting rehabilitation of the damaged ones.

“The mobile bridges are used wherever bridges are damaged as it happened in te recent years. In the past, we experienced Nyabarongo River getting over-flooded for over three days and it affected movement of people and vehicles,” he said.

Other measures in controlling flooding include bridges expansion.

Activities to avert flooding that has been affecting business in Nyabugogo are expected to start soon.

Government will build two wide and high bridges so that water from Mpazi water drain can easily pass through without overflowing the bridge into the roads and business.

Rwf2.5 billion has been reserved by Rwanda Green Fund to implement a flood water management project in the Nyabugogo catchment.

The plan also includes building big ponds on water catchments that retain water from hilly sides such as Mount Kigali before allowing slow flowing to avoid flooding.

Kigali city spends at least Rwf1.5 billion every year for water drainages to control flooding that affect properties including roads.

Rwf199 billion for goods and public transport

Minister Ndagijimana said that about Rwf199.3 billion has been allocated to goods and public transport including constructing, rehabilitating and expanding different roads across the country.

The big projects include construction of Pindura-Bweyeye road in Rusizi district allocated a budget of Rwf5.3 billion, construction of Satinsyi-Rubagabaga Bridge in Ngororero district at Rwf3.3 billion budget.

The budget will also help to streamline public transport in Kigali city and build feeder roads worth Rwf24.7 billion that helps to supply agriculture produce to markets countrywide.

Other projects include water transport by buying high capacity boats and building ports on Lake Kivu expected to cost Rwf8.6 billion.

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