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The East African Republic of Rwanda has just announced that it’s reopening to fully vaccinated international travelers, effective immediately.

Regardless of vaccination status, all foreign travelers aged five and older must arrive carrying proof of a negative PCR test taken within 72 hours of their departure for Rwanda. They must also take another, post-arrival PCR test upon landing at Rwanda’s Kigali International Airport, even if they’re fully vaccinated.

Travelers who cannot supply proof of full vaccination upon arrival in Rwanda are still required to self-isolate in a designated quarantine hotel until they receive a negative PCR test result. All international travelers must also complete a Passenger Locator Form (PLF), upload their proof of vaccination and certificate of their negative pre-travel PCR test results before checking in for their flight to Rwanda.

Fully vaccinated travelers and those under the age of 18 are no longer required to isolate at a quarantine hotel, but the Rwandan Health Ministry is still recommending that vaccinated travelers self-isolate at their chosen accommodations pending the arrival of negative test results. PCR test results are usually delivered within 24 hours.

Negative PCR or rapid antigen test results will also be required for stays at hotels countrywide. PCR test results, including post-arrival tests taken at the airport, are considered valid for 72 hours. Tourists visiting Rwanda’s Volcanoes, Nyungwe and Gishwati-Mukura national parks will need to supply a PCR (not antigen) test taken within 72 hours. Akagera National Park will also accept rapid antigen tests less than 72 hours old.

Rwanda’s recreation facilities and entertainment establishments, including nightclubs, are also open once again. COVID-19 protocols do remain in place throughout the country, including an order that all businesses close by 11:00 p.m. and a nightly curfew that runs from midnight to 4:00 a.m.

Also, note that travelers, including drivers, are required to fill out and submit movement requests, as well as upload their recent test results, receipt for payment of accommodation and confirmation that they’ve purchased a return airline ticket at least 24 hours prior to their trip. Documentation can also be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Rwanda Development Board reports that 1.7 million Rwandans (about 13 percent of the population) are now fully vaccinated, and 3 million have (about 23 percent) received at least one dose of a vaccine. However, 90 percent of those working in the country’s tourism industry have been vaccinated.

For further information, prospective travelers can view the Rwanda Development Board’s frequently asked questions and answers regarding the current rules, and the Rwanda Biomedical Centre’s notes for passengers arriving in or departing from Rwanda. - LAURIE BARATTI, TravelPulse

One of the completed Bus Rapid Transit station along Thika Super Highway. The project is aimed at providing reliable and efficient transport. Photo Courtesy

 

The majority of commuters using public service transport services within Nairobi and satellite towns have had sad stories of their experiences.

They are verbally and physically abused, robbed of money, personal items and even hijacked.

Violence is meted on women, with some sexually harassed and raped. 

The unreliability of public service vehicles has seen many people rely on private vehicles.

Data from the economic survey 2021 showed that the number of driving licenses issued doubled from 140,279 in 2019 to 303,278 last year.

The sharp increase is partly attributed to sensitisation and mass enrolment of smart driving licenses in various counties carried out by the National Transport and Safety Authority.

The number of newly registered motor vehicles however decreased by 14.2 per cent from 109,751 units in 2019 to 94,128 units last year.

The highest decline was recorded for minibuses and matatus at 43.9 per cent from 1,932 units in 2019 to 1,084 units last year.

Panel vans and pickups reduced by 40.5 per cent to 6,065 units, buses and coaches decreased by 32.8 per cent to 900 units last year.

Other significant reductions in new registrations were recorded for saloon cars and station wagons that declined by 22.2 per cent and 20.1 per cent to 7,754 units and 57,962 units last year.

Traffic jams within the city are estimated to cost the country Sh2 billion annually.

It is estimated that Nairobi residents spend 55 minutes in traffic.

Nairobi Metropolitan Area Transport Authority last week Thursday said the anticipated Bus Rapid Transit is expected to greatly transform the city.

“It will provide an efficient system for the ever-growing population,” Namata chief executive Francis Gitau said.

The government has allocated Sh700 million for the construction of the project.

Gitau said they are hopeful more money will be coming from other donors.

Some of the features of the new BRT include the right of way lane, coloured pavement, dedicated BRT lane and flyovers.

It also includes the level station, pre-paid fare collection, information, footbridges, sidewalks, pedestrian crossing, facilities for persons living with disabilities, parking lot among others.

Namata was established by President Uhuru Kenyatta on February 9, 2017.

The authority covers Nairobi, Kiambu, Kajiado, Machakos and Murang’a to establish an integrated, efficient, effective and sustainable public transport system.

To decongest the city, Namata has gazetted five BRT lines which are in different phases of development.

Gitau revealed that the feasibility study for Line 1, which is called Ndovu, is under review while Line 2, called Simba, is under construction.

Line two runs along the Thika Super Highway.

“Detailed design for Line 3 has been submitted while finance is being sought for Line 4,” Gitau said.

He said funding for Line 5 has been obtained from Korea Exim Bank.

On February 26, 2019, Transport CS James Macharia gazetted transport corridors in the city.

BRT Line 1 runs from Limuru-Kangemi-CBD-Imara Daima-Athi River and Kitengela.

Line 2 runs from Rongai-Bomas-Langata Road-CBD-Ruiru-Thika and Kenol.

Line 3, called Chui, runs from Tala-Njiru-Dandora (Juja Road)-CBD-Show Ground (Ngong Road) and Ngong.

Line 4, called Kifaru, is comprised of East and West.

The East one runs from Mama Lucy Hospital-Donholm (Jogoo Road)-CBD.

The West one runs from CBD- T Mall-Bomas-Karen and Kikuyu.

BRT Line 5, which is also called Nyati, traverses Ridgeways (Kiambu Road)-Balozi (Allsops) and Imara Daima.

Macharia also gazetted commuter rail networks which include Nairobi-Limuru town, Nairobi-Ngong, Nairobi-Kenol, Muranga, Nairobi-Kiambu, Nairobi-Ruai, Nairobi-JKIA and Nairobi-Konza.

BRT and commuter rail will be integrated.

Gitau said the project will be a game-changer in the reduction of both vehicles and human traffic jams in the city.

Passengers will save time, money and enjoy much-needed comfort on their way to and from the city centre.

The CEO said the commuter rail is part of the master plan of an integrated commuter system within the city and its environs.

It also comprises the Bus Rapid Transit, monorail and underground rail.

Some of the infrastructure and amenities are still under installation. Recently, Kenya Railways imported high capacity Diesel Mobile Units.

Operations have started in Embakasi, Pipeline and Donholm railway. The three railway stations are among the 10 stations the KR has upgraded and constructed.

The others are at Umoja, Kibera, Thika, Mbagathi Way, Kenyatta and Strathmore universities, Kitengela and Thogoto.

Park and ride services will be available at the designated stops. The motorists will park at the stations and board the City Rail System buses to and from the city.

“A BRT station will be done at Nairobi central station which will be a transfer station,” Gitau said.

“There will be an intermodal facility that will help people using the bus service access rail services and those using the rail service to access the bus services.” 

He said the first route from Kasarani to the city is taking shape with the corridor demarcation being between 60 and 70 per cent complete.

Gitau said the buses will be electric ones to attract opportunities for green bonds.

He said the move will help curb carbon emissions. - GILBERT KOECH, The Star

 

DAR ES SALAAM, Oct. 21 (Xinhua) -- The Tanzania-Zambia railway recorded a 19.4 percent rise in freight traffic in the 2020/2021 financial year ended June 30, 2021, said the Tanzania-Zambia Railway Authority, the operator, in a statement Thursday.

The statement, issued at the end of the 117th Board of Directors meeting of the operator, with the headquarters in Dar es Salaam of Tanzania, said that the railway saw an improvement of 26.7 percent in overall revenue earnings in the 2020/2021 financial year, when compared to the previous financial year that ended on June 30, 2020.

During the 2020/2021 financial year, the railway line transported 217,661 metric tons of freight, compared to 182,302 metric tons transported in the 2019/2020 financial year.

Despite limitations on the movement of people globally due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the overall passenger traffic transported was 2,760,493 passengers during the 2020/2021 financial year, down 0.66 percent from the previous financial year when 2,778,708 passengers were transported.

According to the statement, the overall revenue earnings for the 2019/2020 financial year were 24.511 million U.S. dollars.

The Tanzania-Zambia railway line was constructed as a turnkey project between 1970 and 1975 through an interest-free loan from China, with commercial operations starting in July 1976. It covers 1,860 km from Dar es Salaam in Tanzania to New Kapiri Mposhi in Zambia. - Xinhua

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