The road from Kigali to Muhanga is set to be expanded after the lower chamber of parliament passed a law ratifying a $120 million (approx. Rwf150 billion) loan agreement to that end, on November 13.

It was signed between the Government of Rwanda and the Export-Import Bank of Korea (commonly known as the Korea Eximbank) — the financier — on September 13, 2023, in Busan, South Korea.

The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, stated that the loan, to be repaid within 25 years with a 15-year grace period, at a 0.01% interest rate, aligns with supporting the development of Rwanda’s infrastructure sector.

The Kigali-Muhanga road project has two main components, with the first consisting of the rehabilitation of the road at 45 kilometres, and the expansion of 12.2 kilometres of the road to four lanes. Currently, the entire road has two lanes, Ndagijimana told lawmakers.

In addition, the project will include the construction of 11.9 kilometres of additional lanes for heavy trucks in areas where the road has ascents (climbs) so that they do not impede the movement of other vehicles. At such points, Ndagijimana explained that a part of the road having two lanes will get a third one and that of four lanes will have a fifth one for trucks, albeit at short distances.

Again, two bridges will be constructed, while water channels and public lighting along the road, will also be part of the project.

The second component will feature consultancy services including detailed feasibility study, preparing bidding and contract documents, as well as supervisory services.

Ndagijimana stated the section to be expanded to four lanes is the area near the city with heavy traffic. This is the case for the part from Nyabugogo bus park to Ruyenzi, and Bishenyi (in Kamonyi District) because it is considered an urban area where there are many activities and cars.

“That will be four lines for us to address traffic congestion,” he said.

From Bishenyi, he said, the road will reduce to two lanes, but it will again increase to four lanes before entering Muhanga city — from an area called Kivumu, Cyeza sector — then traverse the city centre to Kabgayi, and to Rugeramigozi wetland in Nyamabuye sector, in order to ease vehicle movement in the urban area.

MP Diogene Bitunguramye said the road in question was old and narrow, suggesting that the project was needed to improve the transport infrastructure.

For him, the road expansion implies many buildings will be expropriated, particularly at the part to be made four lanes, and wanted to know the source of funding for expropriation compensations to avoid project execution delays.

Minister Ndagijimana said that expropriation costs will be covered under the national budget, not the loan mentioned above.

Muhanga is one of the three satellite cities in Rwanda, the others being Bugesera and Rwamagana, which are intended to support the larger Kigali in terms of housing and offering employment opportunities to the population, among other services.

SOURCE: NewTimes

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