The twelve-kilometre tarmac road from Bugarama to CIMERWA cement factory that’s currently under construction is expected to boost transport and economic development in Rusizi District and enhance cross-border trade with neighbours Burundi and DR Congo.
The construction works, worth Rwf8.5 billion, started seven months ago.
Speaking to The New Times last week, District officials said most of the construction works have been completed and there are only about three kilometres remaining.
The road, which links Bugarama and Muganza sectors of Rusizi District, is being built by China Road and Bridge Corporation and is to be completed within the current financial year.
Rusizi District officials said ten per cent of the road’s cost will be covered by CIMERWA, a local cement manufacturer.
Residents in Rusizi appealed to government for the road construction in 2010, when President Kagame visited the District.
The Vice-mayor for finance and economic development in Rusizi District, Léoncie Kankindi, said the road will have a great impact on the development of the area.
“The CIMERWA factory, which is the national cement producer, is operating from here. CIMERWA is also serving DR Congo and Burundi, so the road will facilitate smooth movements of trucks carrying cement to and these destinations,” Kankindi said.
Another advantage, she added, is that the road will ease transport of agricultural produce from the plain areas of Bugarama and Muganza sectors, which are the country’s biggest rice producers.
Jean Bosco Iyamuremye, a resident of Rusizi District, agrees that the tarmac road will boost economic activities in Rusizi District.
“For a long time we waited for the road and it’s only now that it’s being built. We were really in need of it as it will foster cooperation between Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo since it leads to a junction that connects Rwanda and with the two countries,” he said.
Iyamuremye said that residents in Rusizi were paying Rwf1,500 from CIMERWA to Kamembe in Rusizi City, before construction of the road, but he now expects that transport fare will be reduced to Rwf1000 for the same journey.
Rusizi residents also anticipate that the tarmac road will add value to their land.
“This road is going to add great value to our area. A plot of land that was estimated at Rwf500,000 could be sold at one or two million,” said Thomas Ngayawindemera, from Muganza Sector.