Three years ago in Kigali, it was not unusual to stand for hours at the bus stop. Public transport was scarce. Buses were few and far between. Over the last year, this situation has changed.
The number of buses increased; much to the delight of public commuters who now did not have to wait too long to get from one point to another within the City.
Little did they know that the increase in buses would pose another problem altogether. Congestion at the terminal.
At Rubangura, an area was demarcated by police for the buses to park in. With the growing number of vehicles, this space has become too small. For ‘taxi’ driver each day is characterised by constant haggling and jostling for the limited space.
These encounters sometimes end up in collision which result in damaged side mirrors and even physical confrontations between drivers.
Ndayambaje Daniel a taxi driver who plies the Nyabugogo- Kimisagara route says “The space is very small for us to park in, and we are given a boundary line of which we are not supposed to park off that line. If you do so you are penalized by the traffic police for a fee of Rwf25,000”,
He further explains that the situation is becoming very difficult for them.
“As a matter of fact it’s impossible for us to end a day without paying a fine to the police.”
Ndayambaje also says that he has been giving a lot of money to the traffic police ever since he started parking around the Rubangura Street.
This congestion has also caused many drivers to lose their jobs. Francis Nzabamwita who is now a conductor lost his job because all the money he would make would go to the police.
“One day I parked off the line unknowingly, the police man saw it and fined me Rwf25,000 which I had made on that day.
So when I went to my boss to explain to him what happened, he refused to believe it and fired me because he thought I lied to him,’’ Nzabamwita lamented.
He says that there is no way you can prevent yourself from parking off the line because the space is too small to have all the Omni buses.
Hajji Isa Ngezi, Vice Chairman of Atraco says that the problem of congestion at Rubangura is not their responsibility but that of the City Council.
He however said that they are waiting to hear from the Council on the issue.
Bruno Rangira the Director of Media and Communication of Kigali City Council says that the Kigali master plan will be implemented. This he said would solve the congestion problem and the bus terminal.
KIGALI MASTER PLAN
The Kigali Conceptual Master Plan is based on research and analysis of a wide range of background conditions and technical aspects, as outlined in the Existing Conditions Report.
That report considered environmental, land use, infrastructural, cultural, and socioeconomic factors, as well as economic and demographic projections, and outlined opportunities and constraints for urban development.
In doing so, it set the stage for the Kigali conceptual Master Plan, which in turn outlines the designs, strategies and actions that will guide Kigali planners and citizens into future more detailed District Plans and implementation.
It is hoped that the Kigali Conceptual Master Plan will help to create a city that is:
* A symbol of the Rwandan culture that serves as an example for modern Africa;
* A livable community that supports a sense of belonging, cooperation and healing;
* A model of environmental protection and which minimizes pollution and waste;
* In sum: a model of environmental, social, and economic sustainability.
The Kigali City Master Plan gives a detailed account of the design and structure of roads and structures in the city. It also lays down strategies for combating the effects of natural hazards like floods.
Priority Infrastructure projects
• Drainage System
• Street lighting
• Green spaces and City Parks
• Capacity Building
Source: Kigali City Official website