Rubavu residents upbeat as works on proposed Lake Kivu port commence

The shores of Lake Kivu where the cargo and passenger port will be constructed. Régis Umurengezi.

Expectations are high among residents of Rubavu District ever since the Government and Trademark East Africa (TMEA) began construction works for the first ever cargo and passenger port on Lake Kivu last month.

The port is being constructed in Nyamyumba Sector and the works will be done in two phases that will be completed by end of 2019 while the port will be operational in 2020, according to officials.

Speaking to The New Times, the Vice Mayor in Charge of Economic Development in Rubavu District, Janvier Murenzi, said the project will cost $3 million and the district voted to avail 5 per cent as its contribution within this fiscal year.

Thirteen households that used to dwell around the proposed port have been compensated and relocated to other areas to pave the way of construction activities.

According to Murenzi, the new port will help boost trade, maritime transport and tourism on and around the lake given the fact that thousands of people from both Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo will be using the port daily.

“Construction activities will create more jobs for people around, who will benefit significantly from the port, so we are looking forward to gaining more from this project,” he noted.

Some residents who spoke to The New Times, especially those who make a living from lake transportation, said the move was timely.

“We are thankful as it has already started providing jobs to many of us in this area,” Jean Pierre Mwiseneza, another resident from Nyamyumba Sector.

“We are very optimistic to gain more in terms of the economy.”

Besides the cargo and passenger port in Rubavu District, the Government and TMEA are also set to build three other ports in Rusizi (Bugiki), Karongi (at the Karongi cross-border market), and Rutsiro (Nkora region).