Cross border movements between Rwanda and Tanzania will soon get a boost as the construction of Rusumo international bridge and One Stop Border post nears completion, an official has said. The project is being funded by the Japanese government to a tune of Rwf22 billion and is expected to be completed by before November.
Dr Alex Nzahabwanimana, the State Minister for transport, said the project is at 81.6 per cent complete. "The construction of the new Rusumo Bridge will help address the challenge of increased traffic on the central corridor, an important regional route connecting the region to the port of Dar es Salaam," he said.
If completed, the project will help eliminate traffic congestion and improve the efficiency of cargo transportation. The project works include the construction of the new Rusumo International Bridge with 80m of length and 13.5m width, and other facilities such as the administration building.
It will also consist of a control shed for vehicle control purposes, guard quarters, and car park for large vehicles. The new two-lane bridge will replace the old one-lane bridge constructed 40 years ago. Upon completion, the new bridge will have the capacity to support 180 tonnes from the current capacity of 53 tonnes. Hussein Mutimura, a truck driver who imports and exports cargo from Dar port, Tanzania, said the route had various challenges.
"You could find a queue of people at both sides, especially transporters. It was time consuming but with the new project we will be able to move faster," he said. With the new system, all the government agencies like Immigration Department, revenue authorities, standard agencies from both countries operate under the same facility to help clear travellers.
The plan to construct border posts at borders in east African countries is in line with the regional integration plan to help ease movement of people and goods.
Currently Nemba One Stop border post between Rwanda and Burundi in eastern province is operating as well as Ruhwa border post in Rusizi District, that also links Rwanda to Burundi.
Kagitumba border post is under construction while others to be constructed include Gatuna border, the busiest post between Rwanda and Uganda as well as Cyanika border that also connects to Uganda.
Plans are under way to upgrade La Corniche border post in Gisenyi Sector, Rubavu District in western province that connects to DRC.