Ship expected to connect Rusizi and Rubavu reaches 80% completion

By Esther Muhozi
On 14 May 2024 at 06:46

The construction of a large passenger ship that will operate along a water route connecting the districts of Rubavu and Rusizi is underway. This project is expected to alleviate the isolation of the Nkombo sector.

Nkombo island is one of the eighteen sectors in Rusizi District. This geographic feature makes it challenging for residents to engage in commerce with other parts of the country, as their only current option is by boat.

In this context, President Paul Kagame promised a second boat to assist the people of this sector in their trade with other regions.

This boat is being manufactured at the sole modern shipyard in Rwanda, Afrinest Engineering, located in Karongi District.

Alain Munyaburanga, the Head of Afrinest Engineering, stated that the construction of the boat is progressing well. "The work on the boat is about 80% complete. We are trying to finish it as quickly as possible so it can start operating," he said.

This shipyard previously constructed a five-star hotel ship that offers tours for tourists on Lake Kivu. If there are no unforeseen issues, the second boat is expected to be completed within this year.

The new ship will have the capacity to carry 150 passengers and can also transport cargo, including six cars.

This boat will provide a solution for travelers between Rusizi and Rubavu, as it will reduce the travel time to four hours, compared to six hours by a regular passenger bus.

Abdul Djabar Ntahomvukiye, the Executive Secretary of the Nkombo sector, told IGIHE that the completion of this boat will be a significant relief for the Nkombo residents. The current boat can only transport 30 passengers.

"Once the new boat is operational, it will be a blessing as it will be able to transport 150 people along with their cargo. The existing service covers routes to Nkombo, Nyamasheke, Ishywa, and Gihaya, but there’s also a need for services that cover longer distances," he said.

The Nkombo sector is home to over 18,600 people who primarily rely on agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing.