These activities align with Rwanda’s vision to create new off-farm jobs and reduce migration to Kigali city.
As enshrined in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1), Rwanda set ambitious targets to accelerate sustainable urbanization from 18.4 to 35 percent by 2024.
In line with the country’s blueprint, six secondary cities have been undergoing infrastructure development including the construction of new roads expected to facilitate movements and connectivity and paving the way for economic growth.
The six secondary cities include Muhanga, Huye, Rusizi, Rubavu, Musanze and Nyagatare where US$100 million have been allocated to build roads and water drainage channels.
The first phase of this project spanning from June 2016 to November 2018 saw 28.3 kilometer-roads and 13.3 kilometer water drainage channels completed at a cost of US$28 million.
So far, more 43.9 kilometer-roads and 12.15 kilometer-water drainage channels have been constructed in the second phase that began in December 2018 expected to be completed in July 2021.
These infrastructures are an addition to the upgrade of informal settlements in Kigali city including 12.46 hectares in Boryogo, 20.1 hectares in Kiyovu and 26.42 hectares in Rwampara.
The project saw settlements equipped with decent basic infrastructures including tarmac roads which facilitated people’s daily businesses and easy access to other services.
The two phases implemented under Rwanda Urban Development Project (RUDP) will be followed by two more phases to upgrade more slums in secondary cities and different parts of Kigali.
Under the new phases, new roads will be built in four slums of Kigali city staring with 2021-2022 fiscal year.
It will focus on building new roads, pedestrian ways, drainages, street lights, electricity and others.
In Kigali city, the project will construct a road in Gitega sector and set up more infrastructures reducing slums in Gatenga , Kicukiro; Nyabisindu in Remera sector; and Nyagatovu in Kimironko sector, Gasabo district.
Of the Rwf 160 billion, US$ 40.2 million have been allocated for preservation of Gikondo wetland in the former industrial park and containing floods in most parts of Kigali prone to disasters including Kinamba, Rugunga, Rwandex-Majerwa, Mulindi, Masaka and Gacuriro.
The Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete has told the media that containing floods is of crucial relevance to maintain other infrastructures including roads.
“Preserving environment also needs special attention. For instance, floods might cause serious damages to roads in case no action is taken to build proper drainages to contain water flowing from Mont Kigali, Jali, Rebero and Magerwa,” he said.
“That is why this phase will cater for the conservation of Gikondo Industrial Park. We need to build proper drainages for water coming from uphill to contain damages to infrastructures when it rains,” added Gatete.
He explained that building roads in slums doesn’t intend to relocate residents but rather expand basic infrastructures.
The second phase of RUDP II will be implemented from 2021 to 2025.