Rwanda: Musanze-Kigali Highway to Get 32 Kilometre Alternative Road

The government is building a 32 kilometres road that could be used in case of a landslide emergency that usually blocks movement on Kigali-Musanze highway at a place called Buranga.

On several occasions, the Musanze-Kigali highway got blocked by landslides around areas commonly known as Buranga in Nemba Sector and Rusenge from Kivuruga Sector, both in Gakenke District.

Sometimes, the road would be closed for about three days.

Aimé François Niyonsenga, the Vice Mayor in Charge of Economic Development in Gakenke district told The New Times that the blockage could also affect traffic in roads of Muhanga, Ngororero and Burera districts that were alternative to people from Kigali and those from Northern Province.

"Although this area around Buranga that used to be damaged by landslides has been rehabilitated, we thought of building an alternative road in case this area is blocked by landslides again," he said.

Niyonsenga added that the 32 kilometres alternative road comes from Buranga in Nemba Sector and passes behind Kabuye Mountain in Kamubuga sector, proceeds to to Gashenyi sector all in Gakenke and then to Base sector in Rulindo district to connect the road to Kigali.

At least Rwf7 billion has been invested in building Buranga-Base road.

Niyonsenga also disclosed that there is a project to build over 400 kilometres of electricity transmission line to serve 13,000 households in the district.

Handling natural disasters

Some districts including Gakenke district have been struggling to get sustainable solutions as floods and landslides take their toll on the transport sector across the country.

Last year some bridges and roads connecting the districts of Gakenke, Nyabihu and Muhanga were damaged by flooding and landslides.

One of the damaged bridges is the one on River Nyabarongo connecting the districts of Muhanga and Gakenke and is used by thousands of people every day going for mining activities and other businesses in Gakenke.

Niyonsenga said that while a suspended bridge was temporarily constructed on River Nyabarongo to connect the two districts, studies are going on so that a strong and sustainable bridge can be constructed in the near future.

He said that in order to reduce erosion and floods that overflow rivers and paralyse transport, there are various interventions such as a project worth over Rwf774 million to build climate resilience that is also conserving rivers in Gakenke district.

The project which started in September last year was funded by UNDP through Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA).

"The district has already received and spent 40 per cent of the total budget and it is being implemented in two sectors where these rivers which flow into River Nyabarongo are located. It has to construct terraces and plant trees in the catchments of rivers to avoid erosion," he said.

The rivers to be conserved, he said, include River Cyacika on the border between Rushashi and Muyongwe sectors.

The river also goes through Muhondo sector and flows into River Nyabarongo.

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