Residents of the five districts that touch on Kivu Lake said they have to cross the lake on a daily for different activities but that the travels last so many hours, some of them even spending the night halfway.
All that is attributed to the lack of infrastructures including ships and bridges.
Residents of Rubavu, Rutsiro and Rusizi told Radio Rwanda that having ships to allow them to cross over as well as ports, it would facilitate them enormously.
Rutavogerwa Mussa, a resident of Rutsiro district said "There is a tourist ship which travels daily from Cyangugu to Rutsiro. It would be a great addition to our lives if we had one too as we would be able to travel to Cyangugu in 4 hours instead of 12."
Rubavu and Rusizi residents requested more ships to avoid spending the night midway.
Munyurwa Robert, a resident of Rubavu district said that some travelers, for fear of spending the night midway, choose to pass by the Democratic Republic of Congo to reach the Rusizi district. He said that with identification papers, you can take Rubavu-Goma-Bukavu-Rusizi route and that it is the shortest route.
"cement, sand, alcohol and coal merchants use Goma-Bukavu-Rusizi route to reach Kamembe and it is very costly."
Baziruwiha Valens said that due to the lack of infrastructures, they have nowhere to dock their boats and risk damaging them.
RTDA has announced it would start a project for the construction of bridges starting with Rubavu and Rusizi. They predict the construction will be completed by June 2021.
To facilitate the transport of people and goods across the lake, RTDA will also provide two ships, one capable of transporting 3 tons of goods and 30 people by April 2020 and another capable of transporting 10 tons of goods and 150 people by the end of the year.
Imena Munyampenda, RTDA Director-General said that the project will attract more investors and that they are expecting a ship manufacturing plant in the near future. "With the construction of bridges and new infrastructures including ships, we expect more investors and a remarkable improvement in trade. We also anticipate a ship manufacturing plant in the near future."
TMEA has invested $12 in the first construction phase comprising of two bridges while the rest of the project will be completed by 2022.
Apart from building bridges and availing job opportunities to Rubavu and Rusizi residents, RTDA plans on starting a training center to teach people to drive, assemble and repair ships.