In 2015, Denis Karera – a Kigali-based businessman told President Paul Kagame while inaugurating M Peace Plaza in the city centre that it’s very difficult for motorists to enter and exit Nyabugogo bus terminal because of unbearable traffic jam.
“Your point is straightforward. We shall look into this issue and find a solution,” President Kagame responded to Karera.
Two years later, construction works have started to expand Nyabugogo – Gatsata road into a four lane. The road connects Rwanda to the border with Uganda.
Nyabugogo bus terminal is at the center of roads that connect the country to Uganda, Kenya and Democratic Republic of Congo. expansion of these roads will significantly reduce traffic jams.
Kigali city has a plan to expand 54Km of roads within the capital into four lanes. Several construction works are ongoing.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) – a Chinese company contracted by the City of Kigali has started expanding Nyabugogo – Gatsata to two double lanes.
Gatsata is home to a major fuel depot just few kilometers from Nyabugogo bus terminal. Several fuel tank trucks are common in this area leading to endless traffic jams, sometimes lasting over two hours.
Expansion works will include construction of a round-about at the Nyabugogo main junction of road networks located at the south – east corner of Tax Park to ease flow of vehicles.
In this phase, the contractor will also widen 1 kilometer from Nyabugogo to Gatsata past the Nyabugogo Bridge.
Bruno Rangira, the spokesperson of the City of Kigali told KT Press that the new extension works in Nyabugogo will have a double lanes road network.
“The plan is to have two double-lanes road network from Nyabugogo bus park heading to Gatsata and another one from the bus park – towards Giticyinyoni , Huye – Musanze road junction,” Rangira told KT Press.
China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is a subsidiary of China Communications Construction Company (CCCC). The company mainly engages in highway, bridge, port, tunnel, drainage and other civil engineering constructions.
It is physically tricky to contain the flowing waters where the new extension works of Nyabugogo road is taking place.
To deal with the waters that snake through the planned road channel, the company is currently compacting the wet part of the area with heavy stones.
“These stones condense water and keep it underground. We will later put heavy concrete to avoid any case of humidity from underground,” an engineer at the site told KT Press.
Despite connecting Rwanda to Mombasa in Kenya which handles over 50% of the imported cargo heading to Rwanda, Nyabugogo – Katuna road network runs short of the capacity to handle an influx of cargo trucks and busses entering the country.
More than 4000 travelers cross into Rwanda through Gatuna border post every day, according to statistics from Rwanda’s Directorate of Immigration.
Meanwhile in 2012, Kigali carried a-3 year rehabilitation works of the 77.8km road linking Kigali to Katuna border on the Ugandan side.
The €62.1 million rehabilitation works, funded by European Union, was backed as solution to Rwanda’s connection to the rest of the region.
However, the rehabilitation only added pedestrian walkway and some other repairs. More complaints had been ongoing, with traders still insisting the road does not match their daily routines.
If fully extended, Rwanda – a land-locked East African nation with 12 million people can easily connect to 120 million population and boost its cross border trade.