Infrastructure development boosts connectivity in Musanze

On 10 June 2021 at 12:24

Bajeni Mpumuro Emmanuel is a resident of Musanze district in the former Prefecture Ruhengeri since November 1994.

At the time, Musanze was among other parts of the country shaken by the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi that underwent a period of uncertainty between 1997 and 1997 during insurgency attacks.

Bajeni has recounted how residents in the area went through difficult times until close collaboration with the Government bore fruits to bring the situation to normal.

Bajeni who once served as a Parliamentarian between 2003 and 2008 resides in Byimana village, Ruhengeri cell in Musanze sector where he bought a plot of land in 1999 in which he built a house in 2000.

His home is located in the vicinity of Rwebeya water drainage channel (Ruhurura) that used to be flooded by water from the Volcanoes National Park, claiming lives and destroying properties.

During rainy season, the water drainage channel would put many things on standstill obstructing movements.

As a parliamentarian, Bajeni advocated for residents requesting a bridge that would facilitate movements.

“There was no bridge over the drainage channel. It was a steep slope that required one to lean on strong persons to cross,” he said.

During rainy season, it was impossible to cross as a result of widespread flooding occasioned by water flowing from Volcanoes National Park.

Bajeni has recalled the time when he saw four women from Gisenyi with their children whom he helped to find other routes paths to reach the destination after failing to cross the flooded drainage channel.

“I was moved by the unpleasant situation residents were going through and conducted advocacy. It was before the year 2008. We later got relief with construction of the bridge and a tarmac road as well,” he said.

Rwebeya water drainage channel is stretched along 720 meters and flows from Kinigi sector into River Mukungwa. It was built during the first phase of the project to provide roads and water drainage systems in secondary cities.

The project saw the construction of 4,577 Km roads completed at over Rwf 4.2 billion in Musanze district while water drainage channels stretched along 922 meters cost Rwf 949.9.

Bajeni has explained that such infrastructures have eased movements and connectivity in surrounding communities that residents safely reach markets and health facilities among others.

“For instance, thieves would loot residents’ belongings and escape to the drainage channel. Today, related theft cases have reduced because lights are installed along the road. The development is among other infrastructures made possible under the visionary leadership of President Paul Kagame which continuously induce pride among residents,” he revealed.

Residents have also revealed that infrastructure development has made them smart residents with optimism for new opportunities.

“After raining, roads turned muddy and became almost unmotorable. So, you can image how frustrating it was for someone cross the muddy road with his/her clean shoes and clothes. Today, we are grateful because we move freely be it in rainy season or dry spell,” said Jean d’Amour Ntakirutimana, a motorcyclist.

Antoinette Mukampirwa, a vendor of vegetables in Giramahoro village, Muhoza sector is among residents benefiting from infrastructures made available.

She explained that new roads facilitated transport that they currently run businesses smoothly.

The mayor of Musanze district, Jeannine Nuwumuremyi has said that new roads have facilitated movements and connectivity and paved the way for development in other areas.

“Our district is prone to frequent rains. The situation worsens when flowing water has no properly constructed drainage channels. Having strong bridges facilitates movements and connectivity,” she noted.

“People visiting our town can move freely. It also impacts tourism positively as it gives a memorable experience to tourists visiting Virunga National Parks pushing them to prolong their stay,” added Nuwumuremyi.

She explained that Musanze district has other projects in the pipeline expected to attract tourists visiting gorillas in Virunga National Park to prolong their stay.

“We want tourists to stay longer. When there are infrastructures, it gives them courage to explore more areas. Visiting different parts to witness settlements, and citizens’ development might be part of their adventures. Besides, there are new coffee shops in Rusagara and Ibereshi among others where tourists from Volcanoes National Park can pass by,” stressed Nuwumuremyi.

At least a 6.428 kilometer road under construction in the second phase of infrastrure development in Musanze district has reached 94.2%.