15 May 2018

Rwanda: Govt Mulling Way Forward After Gatuna-Kigali Road Disruption

Senior officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure and affiliated agencies together with police on Tuesday morning met at the point where the Gatuna-Gicumbi-Kigali highway road caved in on Monday in a bid to seek an intermediate solution.

The most immediate action is to ease movement on the road as well as proceed with the repairs.

The curve-in occurred some 77 kilometres from Kigali at an area called Rwankojo in Cyumba Sector, Gicumbi District.

Kigali-Gatuna is one of the busiest highways and it links the country to the Kenyan port of Mombasa through Uganda, a freight route commonly known as Northern Corridor.

Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye, the Minister of State in charge of Transport, Guy Kalisa, the Director General Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), among others, have visited the scene and are among the people in the meeting held Tuesday morning.

Speaking to The New Times, Rwanda National Police Spokesperson Theos Badege said that law enforcement officers are on location to facilitate ease of movement as other institutions do what else is desired.

Badege said pedestrians and commuter buses are allowed to use the road but heavy truckers have been advised to the Kagitumba route.

Badege said: "Only heavy trucks are not allowed. At the moment RTDA people are on ground with equipment and they are still analyzing the situation to determine the way forward."

Police had earlier issued an advisory, on twitter, saying that due "to continue landslides that are affecting the road Gatuna-Gicumbi-Kigali, all heavy trucks to and from Uganda-Kigali via Gatuna are requested to temporarily use the Kagitumba route."

"Please bear with the inconvenience as construction works begin."

Natural disasters due to rainfall recently wreaked havoc in various parts of the country, and the region, and the government recently announced that it is looking for, among others, immediate solutions to construct or repair destroyed bridges to ease movement.

The disasters all associated with the persistent heavy rains have since January led to loss of lives, destroyed public and private infrastructure while people's farmlands have been washed away, among other damages.

The minster of infrastructure is expected to address a news conference this afternoon to provide a way forward.

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