Nyaruguru District will next financial year prioritise road construction to help boost the agriculture sector, officials have said.
“Feasibility studies have already been done and construction works will start next fiscal year,” Francois Habitegeko, Nyaruguru District Mayor, said.
He said the construction works will be funded by the district and development partners.
Among the roads to be constructed include the main road that stretches over 60 kilometres and the road from the district headquarters to Munini Hospital. Another six-kilometre road network will be constructed in Kibeho city.
“The tarmac road will connect Nyaruguru to Huye District through Kibeho, Munini, Cyahinda, Nyagisozi and Ngoma sectors and link with another tarmac road leading to Akanyaru border,” Habitegeko revealed.
He said focus will be on roads linking production centres, especially in zones where tea is grown. Nyaruguru is largely known for tea growing.
The mayor said the projects seem to be big, especially given the district’s limited budget.
The district budget for this fiscal year is over Rwf11 billion with only 200 million allocated to roads. The Local Entities Development Agency has extended a Rwf500 million grant to the district.
The mayor, meanwhile, said the district had started to expand tea plantation acreage to feed the growing number of tea factories. The district boasts Muganza–Kivu tea factory and another that is still under construction in Kibeho sector.
“We need to expand tea plantations and feeder roads to ease transportation of produce. We want to specialise in tea production while putting more efforts in other crops to increase production,” he said.
“Once the necessary infrastructure is put in place, we hope more investors will flock Nyaruguru for hotels and hospitality,” Habitegeko added.
There are roads which will stretch along the entire Nyungwe belt via Kivu, Muganza, Nyabimata and Ruheru sectors. Others, according to Habitegeko, will pass through Irish potato growing areas of Wumusebeya and Ruyenzi cells.
Residents commended the move to construct access roads, saying it will ease doing business and spur development.
“We have been facing difficulties in transporting our produce. Previously, vehicle owners who endured the poor roads charged a lot of money,” Peter Ntivuguruzwa, resident of Mata Sector, said.