Road First, Houses Second

A road constructed first before houses

“Singaye nd’umuzungu nsigaye nitwa patrol” is a popular old Kinyarwanda song that literally meant that making smart decisions is done by Westerners only. Of course, to the musician a fellow African meant a person who inverses the Steven Covey’s quadrants.

Well, to completely refute that song one need to mention the Rwandan roads (like the one pictured above constructed in a currently uninhabited place), light of authentic planning and decision making is glowing in Rwanda.

Ever since, the colonial masters era, it is usually unheard of to see a road being constructed before settlements are established. This ended up being like the norm which says “enough houses first and roads second”.

However, if a road is constructed first, it saves expropriation costs of poorly located houses and also provides enough room for a spacious road not forgetting how it facilitates transportation of building materials.

At times bitter facts itch but this chronology of road-house construction is what most urban planners in Africa followed. Examples include places like both Nyanza of Butare and Kicukiro that stayed for long without appropriate public roads yet they had enough modern houses.

Today’s Rwandan ministry of infrastructure seems proactive in planning since roads are being constructed before the construction of houses, a case in point being the Kiyovu business center, Free trade zone area and several residential areas in Kicukiro and Kinyinya.

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