The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Rusumo Border Turning Into Modern Town

opinion

Rusumo Border is rapidly metamorphosing into a modern town. The village now boasts of modern facilities such as gyms, shopping malls, churches and schools.

That dwellers of this village have easy access to the capital Kigali is an added advantage. And the 160km road from Rusumo to Kigali is in good state, making a bus or taxi ride between the two places a short journey.

Locals here also enjoy access to water from local sources, as well as hydro electricity from the main country grid. Before, residents of this village used solar energy and diesel powered generators. But today, about 5,300 households are connected to hydro electricity.

And more people are looking forward to benefiting from electricity generated by Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project, which starts operations in 2014.

New consultants have been hired to re-study the planned Rusumo Hydropower Dam to determine if more electricity can be generated - more than the previous projected capacity of 60 mega watts.

Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi have for years been discussing a plan to construct a dam on the Rusumo Falls on River Akagera. The original feasibility study determined that the dam could generate some 90 mega watts. However, concerns from the downstream countries along River Nile and environmental concerned expressed by the World Bank led to a decision to reduce on the size of the dam to produce only 60MW.

It is also anticipated that construction of the Rusumo bor­der post, which bridges Rwanda and Tanzania, will be com­plete by November 2014. At the end of the project, the JICA-funded project will have cost the two countries a total of Rwf25 billion.

Rusumo is also set to match international border standards by allowing more than 100 vehicles to cross the bor­der everyday. With modern facilities and skilled human resource, it will be taking less than 10 minutes to clear one vehicle.

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