Spreading the wealth, on our roads

The government has come up with two very important measures to improve on infrastructure. The first was announced during the launch of the rehabilitation project of Kigali’s major roads. The Minister if Infrastructure revealed that the government would no longer tolerate second rate work by road contractors.

The government has come up with two very important measures to improve on infrastructure.

The first was announced during the launch of the rehabilitation project of Kigali’s major roads. The Minister if Infrastructure revealed that the government would no longer tolerate second rate work by road contractors.

It put in place strict measures to prevent contractors from ripping off the government by “eating” a few layers of tarmac in order to line their pockets with the illegal proceeds. In most cases these roads do not last.

The other welcome aspect of the new government proposal is the awarding of feeder roads’ maintenance contracts to local cooperatives instead of businessmen.

This will not only spread the wealth down to the villages, it will also remove the parasitic practice by unscrupulous contractors who do shoddy jobs and rip-off the local human resources in the same breath.

Local cooperatives will benefit by taking care of their own roads and getting paid for it, a big plus to the government’s Vision 2020 and the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).

The adage that “all roads lead to Rome” would not have been an international catchphrase if it were not for the famous Roman network of cobblestone roads.

One could argue that the Romans achieved the feat of building ageless roads using slave labour, but they are not much different from the modern exploiters who use local labour for peanuts.

Some of the Roman roads exist to this day, hundreds if not thousands of years later. That is exactly what we need; roads that will last long.

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