Musanze-Kigali highway reopened to traffic after temporary blockade

The Musanze-Kigali highway has reopened after it had been blocked earlier on Thursday, May 7, following torrential rains that pounded the country’s northern and western regions.

Landslides had blocked the road around areas commonly known as Buranga in Nemba Sector and Rusenge from Kivuruga Sector, both in Gakenke District.


The blockade halted transport along the crucial national road for about six hours.


Amani Hakizimana, an eyewitness and resident of Nemba sector told The New Times that the road was blocked early in the morning at around 4.00 a.m following the night-long torrential rains.


“We had all been awakened by the heavy downpour and when we saw the road blocked we immediately informed the police and grassroots leaders who immediately came,” said Hakizimana.

Speaking to The New Times, the district mayor, Deogratias Nzamwita said that they worked with NPD, a local construction company, to clear the debris from the road and the exercise took “some hours”.

“It was beyond our capacity as the district and that is why we called NPD for intervention, the road is now operational as we speak and travels from and to Kigali are assured to all kinds of vehicles as normal,” he noted Thursday mid-morning.

Musanze-Kigali highway is frequently blocked by landslides especially in Gakenke District during almost every rainy season, which is attributable to the district’s sloppy topography that makes it prone to landslides.

The rain last night led to the death of at least seven people in Gakenke, while eight others died in Nyabihu District.

In May 2016 the road was closed for about three days affecting traffic to Muhanga and Ngororero.

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