Road contractors must present clear plans showing how they would safely relocate existing facilities like electricity transmission lines, water pipes and fibre optic cables before they are allowed to start any projects.
“No contractor will be allowed to take construction equipment to the site before relocation of all the existing infrastructure facilities that can be damaged by the works,” James Musoni, the Minister for Infrastructure, said.
The plans must also indicate the maintenance strategies for the existing infrastructure facilities in the project area.
Musoni was speaking during a stakeholders meeting on the status of infrastructure in the City of Kigali last week.
“We have resolved to repair all the damaged infrastructure across the country... We will also severely punish anyone caught vandalising public facilities,” the minister said.
Previously, there have been reports of unknown people vandalising power lines and road signages in some parts of the country.
The practice results into electricity blackouts, as well as exposes Rwandans to risks, including road accidents.
Monique Mukaruliza, the City of Kigali mayor, said road constructors have in many instances damaged public infrastructure, including water pipes, drainage systems and electricity lines, affecting service delivery.
More than 70 per cent of the city’s 2015/16 financial year budget went into infrastructure development.
Musoni attributed this to lack of concrete strategies on the side of contractors to avoid these errors, adding that the damages always cost government a lot of money in repairs.
He said the ministry has identified and documented the existing infrastructure to guide contractors undertaking works in different parts of the country and hence avoid destroying them. He added that government is stepping up efforts to work on the broken infrastructure in the city.
Strong monitoring systems
Meanwhile, the government has revealed it will also establish electronic monitoring systems to report infrastructure breakdown across as one of the interventions aimed at helping boost repair efforts and efficiency.
The move is expected to save government a lot of money and enhance service delivery.
However, the cost of maintaining the current infrastructure is growing due to damages caused by contractors.
Last month, the World Bank approved a $95 million (about Rwf72 billion) International Development Association (IDA) loan to support Rwanda’s urbanisation strategy and support infrastructure development in urban centres.