No hope in sight for tarmac road to Rusororo Cemetery

A view of Rusororo public cemetery last year. Accessing the cemetry, especially during the dry season, remains a challenge because of dust. Emmanuel Kwizera.

For most people who have gone to Rusororo Cemetery to lay their loved ones to rest, that final journey has left many of the grieving in even more despair due to the deep potholes, clouds of dust plus the lack of enough parking space. And, it seems, very little is changing any time soon. The cemetery is located in Rusororo Sector in Gasabo District.

The Acting Director of Infrastructure Development in the City of Kigali, Pauline Uwamariya, told The New Times that though there are plans to construct the Mulindi-Gasogi-Rusororo-Kibuga road, there were no immediate plans to fix the road leading to Rusororo cemetery.

“In our action plan, we have Mulindi-Gasogi- Rusoro- Kabuga road which is 10 kilometre long. It will cost Rwf7 billion but we are yet to get a budget to finance it. That particular one to the cemetery is not in our plans for 2019/2020,” she said.

She pointed out that such roads are a responsibility of the district, which is required to do their maintenance.

However, in a separate interview, the Inspector of Public infrastructure in Gasabo District, Arthur Muhinda, said that while the district can do maintenance, it is not mandated and never has the budget to take on such a project.

“That Rusororo cemetery road is one of our major concerns and we are trying as much as possible to make sure that it is within our budget for the next fiscal year, which begins in June. However, all we will be able to do is to cover the potholes and compact the road. Unfortunately, that may fix the pothole issue, not the one of dust,” he said.

Why not tarmac

Muhinda explained that each of the city’s districts contributes some money to the road related infrastructure but it was not enough to tarmac a road because of how costly the venture is.

“Each district contributes Rfw450 million every year and the City Council adds some and then the Road Maintenance Fund tops up for tarmac roads to be built every year,” he said.

He pointed out that despite what the mandate and budget allows them, Gasabo district was able to construct the road to Ndera; which stretches to three kilometers.

“The Ndera route was not in the City of Kigali priorities but as a district, sometimes we look at an area and decide that it is necessary to construct a road there most especially because there is a mental health facility but also, there was a serious flooding issue in that area,’ he said.

New roads in the pipeline

The City Vice Mayor in charge of Economic Development, Parfait Busabizwa, recently told The New Times that there were plans to construct new roads, including the one from Sonatubes to Gahanga whose works will start soon.

The official said that the city is also constructing the road connecting Giti cy’Inyoni to Karama passing behind Mount of Kigali to Nyamirambo which will allow travellers from Southern Province to connect to Nyamirambo without passing through Nyabugogo and the Central Business District.

“Works on all these roads involve tarmacking those that have been murram, while others require expanding to dual carriage to decongest city traffic. These are crucial to the city’s development and easy movement of people who deal with their daily businesses,” he said.

He added that for the roads’ sustainability, more drainage systems to contain water that may damage the roads are being constructed, adding that local company NPD has also been contracted to maintain the city roads.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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