RUSIZI-Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) has confirmed plans to introduce modern water vessels to connect Karongi, Rubavu and Rusizi districts through Lake Kivu.
According to Anselme Nsengimana, the official in charge of water transport at RTDA, the parastatal is already in the process of building large modern boats for each of the three districts, as well as four smaller boats, to facilitate access to islands located near the districts. Presently, people use dilapidated wooden canoes that often pose great dangers.
“Safe water transport will be possible. We lack modern secure boats to ferry people and property,” Nsengimana told The New Times.
Rusizi District leaders said the move presents a way forward for the three districts.
“Up to now, people only use the Rusizi-Kigali route. This limits our opportunities to trade and link with neighbours,” commented Alphonse Bimenyimana, the district official in charge of Infrastructure.
Residents are optimistic that water transport would spur development in the area.
“The journey through water to, for instance, Karongi is very short compared to using the road. Boats will save us time and as well provide alternative means of transport,” says Alphonse Ndatwa, a Rusizi businessman.