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Rwanda re-opening 'Gatuna Border Post' with
Uganda for trial period with heavy cargo trucks

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda has re-opened Gatuna border post, a main route linking Rwanda to neighboring Uganda, to heavy cargo trucks on Monday for trial operation, Rwanda Revenue Authority said in a statement.

The Ugandan government had accused Rwanda of imposing an embargo on bilateral trade with Uganda, while the Rwandan side denied the allegation and said Gatuna is the only border post connecting with Uganda that is not fully operational due to construction works.

Heavy trucks are now allowed to provisionally cross the Gatuna border post between June 10 to 22, in order to facilitate trial activities, said the statement.

The trial, recommended by Rwanda Transport Development Agency, is aimed at assessing the operationalization of the construction works and equipment, it said.

About 50 percent of imports to Rwanda and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo by road pass through the Kigali-Gatuna road, part of the northern corridor which links landlocked countries of the Great Lakes region with Kenya’s sea port Mombasa, according to the Rwandan ministry of infrastructure.

Rwanda and Uganda recently have had a frosty relation after the two sides are continuing to blame each other for different issues.


United Nations urge east African countries
to harmonize vehicle emission standards

NAIROBI (Xinhua) --The United Nations on Monday urged East African Community (EAC) countries to harmonize vehicle emission standards.

Rob de Jong, head of air quality and mobility unit at the UN Environment, told countries to phase off old vehicles that produce dirty fumes and instead promote zero emission vehicles.

There is need to develop a harmonized approach to ensure that the region has safe and quality air," de Jong told delegates attending EAC workshop on harmonization of vehicle emission standards.

De Jong said that the region need to have similar quality of fuel as is the case with Europe and other parts of the world that is fast changing in line with environmental conservation so the region can enjoy benefits of clean fuel.

He challenged delegates to push for the phase-off of used and old vehicles that pollute the air besides forcing owners to use lots of money in maintaining them.

Remy Duhuze, director of environmental regulation and pollution control at Rwanda Environmental Management Agency (REMA), suggested that all vehicles in the country undergo emission inspection to help prevent air pollution.

"The inspection is mandatory for all vehicles with commercial ones undergoing inspection twice within six months," Duhuze noted.


Rwanda reopen border post with Uganda to heavy cargo trucks | Coastweek

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Workers of China Road and Bridge Cooperation (CRBC) work at the construction site of New Bugesera International Airport Expressway Project in Kigali, Rwanda. The 13.8-kilometer project will renovate the current road and upgrade it to an expressway with four lanes. XINHUA PHOTO - LYU TIANRAN
He said that the country has developed vehicle import strategy, apply strict import regulations and has banned small seater-capacity buses.

Duhuze noted that Rwanda is developing new transport policy that is being informed by the ongoing feasibility study on green mobility.

"The Kigali Motor Vehicle Inspection Center and its satellite centers are equipped with emissions inspection equipment while the national police have also been given hand-held inspection gadgets," he added.

The official noted that sulphur that is caused by vehicular emissions is of concern in Rwanda since it is the major pollutant. He said that in a study that was done in 2011 and 2018, sulphur leads, followed by Nitrogen oxides, particulate matter (PM10) and carbon monoxide.

Duhuze revealed that a standard imposing low sulphur fuel (less than 50 ppm) that was adopted by the EAC is already in force in Rwanda.

He attributed the state of pollution to failure to have motorcycles undergo inspection and the increasing traffic jam in major cities.

According to UN Environment, stringent emission standards are needed to reduce pollution by over 85 percent.

The UN environmental agency urges countries to avoid transport where necessary, shift to cleaner modes of transport and improve transport modes like cleaner cars and buses.

Rwanda launches construction of affordable
housing units for average income earners

KIGALI Rwanda (Xinhua) -- Rwanda on Monday launched the construction of 2,000 affordable housing units for average income earners, as part of the government’s efforts to address affordable housing "crisis" in urban areas in the country.

Access to affordable housing in urban areas of Rwanda most especially in the capital Kigali is quite challenging for low income earners, said Rwandan minister of infrastructure Claver Gatete at the launch of 2,000 affordable housing units in Nyamirambo sector, Nyarugenge district in Kigali.

"With the construction of these affordable housing units, we expect average income earners in Kigali to easily find an affordable and decent accommodation at an affordable price," said Gatete.

Gatete also said that the housing units will be constructed with environmentally friendly building materials, which will be produced locally.

The targeted home owners are those within the income bracket of between 220 U.S. dollars per month and 771 U.S. dollars per month, according to developers.

The units will sit on a 30-hectare piece of land between Nyamirambo and Rebero sector in Kigali and the entire project will cost over 50 million U.S. dollars and will easily accommodate about 10,000 residents, according to them.

According to last year’s Housing Market study conducted by research institute International Growth Center in Kigali, about 700,00 new housing units are needed by 2028, where 70 percent of them lay in affordable housing category.



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