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Burundi has a road network of nearly 12,000 kilometers.  According to the Highways Authority, the inland road network consists of a network of 4,456 km of classified roads (i.e., the maintenance of the Highways Office), including 22 national roads with a linear 1952 km and 91 provincial roads with a total linear of 2522 km. Of the classified roads, 1647 km of roads are paved, compared to 305 km unpaved.

Three categories of roads are identified. First, the national roads (RN) that connect provincial leaders with each other and with the borders. Then comes the 2,522 km provincial roads that connect the chiefs of the communes with each other and with the provincial chiefs. Finally, there are communal roads of a length of 2,587 kilometers, very strategic, which connect hills, municipalities and provinces. The unclassified network, which is the responsibility of local authorities, comprises 6,150 km of roads of communal interest and agricultural trails, and 462 km of road inside Bujumbura. (Source: link)

Most of the roads were built between the 1960s and 1990s. Natural disasters, especially with landslides, the civil war that lasted nearly fifteen years, and the lack of maintenance have damaged the network.

In terms of quality, according to the Office of Roads, 17% of national roads are in very good condition, 11% in good condition, 26% in average condition and 46% in poor condition. Of the provincial roads, 8.6 km by 2522 km are paved and in very good condition, the rest being in poor condition (65% of the roads). Despite maintenance problems, more than 1500 km or nearly 80% of the linear of national roads is paved. Some localities, however very strategic economically, are difficult to reach. For roads whose responsibility for maintenance lies with local authorities, a significant part is in deplorable condition, as the municipalities do not have enough budget allocated to this task.

Roads are expensive for the taxpayer. For example, only one km of the coated pavement of the Kirundo-Gasenyi section on the RN14 cost $466,111.97 for Muyinga-Cankuzo one km is estimated at $5,553,387 the coated km of Nyanza Lake-Mabanda-Mugina on the RN3 is equivalent to $1,230,897

Burundi is a landlocked country and its trade, both local and international, depends mainly on the road network. In fact, 80% of the country's trade takes place internationally, compared to 20% for the national level.

According to the Highways Office, three main Corridors connect Burundi to the international ports of Mombasa and Dar-Es-Salaam respectively in Kenya and Tanzania. This is the northern corridor that connects Bujumbura to Mombasa via the cities of Nairobi in Kenya, Kampala in Uganda and Kigali in Rwanda for about 2040 km; the central corridor that connects Bujumbura to Dar-Es-Salam via Kobero for a distance of 1630 km. Finally, the north-south corridor connects Rwanda (Bugarama) to Tanzania (Kigoma) via the borders of Ruhwa and Mugina. The latter is new and replaces the southern corridor via Lake Tanganyika. The length of Burundi's road network on these corridors is summarized in the following table.

Corridor

Linear

Number of Routes

North

116 Km

1

Central

238 Km

5

North - South

248 Km

2

In terms of road length, Burundi is the most deprived country of road infrastructure. The country has an average of almost half a kilometer of road per km2. Rwanda and Kenya are in second and third place respectively with 350 meters and 280 meters per km2 respectively. Uganda has a road density of 230 meters for every square kilometer. Tanzania is the least developed country in this area with about 40 meters of road for each km2.


Burundi

Rwanda

Kenya

Uganda

Tanzania

Land Surface (km2)

25,680

24,670

569,140

200,520

885,800

Road network (km)

11,976

5,715

160,886

70,746

33,495

Quantity/surface (km/km2)

0.47

0.35

0.28

0.23

0.04


The ease of import and export is the most important indicator for assessing the quality of transport. It is measured by meeting deadlines in the documentation requirement and procedures. The longer the time spent on borders and barriers, the worse the quality. In terms of exports, for example, the time frame for Burundi and Tanzania (120 hours) is low for Kenya (7 p.m.). In terms of import times, they are higher in Tanzania (264 hours) and Burundi (180 hours), and shorter in Rwanda (72 hours).  The following table provides a comparison of documentation requirements for EAC member countries.


 Country

Export Time

 Import Time

Burundi

120

180

Kenya

19

84

Uganda

64

138

Rwanda

42

72

Tanzania

120

264

Source : http://akeza.net/un-reseau-routier-dense-au-burundi-quel-potentiel-pour-le-developpement-du-pays/

Although the roads are economically strategic for Burundi, administrative procedures to facilitate cross-border traffic are still very cumbersome compared to most other ECA countries. To overcome this challenge, the modernization of control equipment is more than necessary because time has a direct impact on the cost of transport.

Distance Matrix

 

Bujumbura

Bubanza

Bururi

Cibitoke

Cankuzo

Makamba

Muramvya

Muyinga

Kayanza

Kirundo

Karusi

Mwaro

Gitega

Ngozi

Rutana

Ruyigi

Bujumbura


43

106

61

216

167

48

199

94

197

158

66

100

128

138

170

Bubanza

43


167

51

256

204

87

180

75

178

185

109

140

107

181

210

Bururi

106

167


168

187

37

119

183

201

245

148

84

90

233

80

138

Cibitoke

61

51

168


281

228

109

188

83

197

219

127

161

115

200

232

Cankuzo

216

256

187

281


166

168

60

167

126

107

148

116

135

137

49

Makamba

167

204

37

228

166


156

220

238

282

185

12

127

270

51

138

Muramvya

48

87

119

109

168

156


143

55

150

110

46

52

86

127

119

Muyinga

199

180

183

188

60

220

143


185

64

48

139

93

73

182

109

Kayanza

94

75

201

83

167

238

55

185


103

112

101

118

32

185

174

Kirundo

197

178

245

197

126

282

150

64

103


94

171

155

71

207

176

Karusi

158

185

148

219

107

185

110

48

112

94


104

116

78

130

99

Mwaro

66

109

84

127

148

12

46

139

101

171

104


46

104

98

93

Gitega

100

140

90

161

116

127

52

93

118

155

116

46


84

69

77

Ngozi

128

107

233

115

135

270

86

73

32

71

78

104

84


153

142

Rutana

138

181

80

200

137

51

127

182

185

207

130

98

69

153


88

Ruyigi

170

210

138

232

49

138

119

109

174

176

99

93

77

142

88


Road Security

Burundi does not have any specialized service for road accident prevention even though road accident statistics are on the rise each year. The various services responsible for road safety are non-operational and lack coordination, and road safety information sources are unreliable. Insurance companies are the only reliable sources of information in matters relating to car accidents.

The National Road Agency being responsible for road infrastructure contributes to improve the situation, especially by considering aspects of road safety regarding both technical designing of infrastructure and the maintenance thereof.

Weighbridges and Axle Load Limits

Different axle load and gross vehicle mass (weight) limits is the current practice among the partner states within the EA region. Burundi and Rwanda still at early stages of developing laws and regulations to control vehicle overloading while Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda have more advanced laws and regulations - but differences in training of personnel and operational practices occur

Countries in the East African Community will have to uniform the laws on vehicle weight limits in less than a year.

This comes after member states reached consensus on commercial vehicle loading and management strategies. The forum resolved to apply consistent axle load limit of 56 tons on seven standard axles in all partner states.

Kenya allows a maximum of 48 tons for vehicles, Rwanda and Burundi 53 tons while Tanzania and Uganda allow 56 tons,

Kenya had initially opposed the adjustment and insisted on between 48 and 52 tons. While Tanzania and Uganda axle limits stand at 56 tons, Rwanda and Burundi limit stood at 53 tons.

Transport and infrastructure experts from EAC will now prepare a memorandum on the agreement for consideration by the Sectoral Council on Transport, Communication and Metrology on October 10, and a requisite bill prepared for enactment by early next year.


Type

DRC

Kenya

Tanzania

Truck with 2 axles

18,000 kg

18,000 kg

18,000 kg

Truck with 3 axles

24,000 kg

26,000 kg

26,000 kg

Semi-trailer with 3 axles

28,000 kg

28,000 kg

28,000 kg

Truck with 4 axles

28,000 kg

30,000 kg

28,000 kg

Semi-trailer and drawbar with 4 axles

36,000 kg

36,000 kg

36,000 kg

Semi-trailer with 6 axles

44,000 kg

50,000 kg

54,000 kg

Truck & drawbar trailer with 5 axles

50,000 kg

44,000 kg

45,000 kg

Vehicle and semi-trailer with total of 6 axles

37,000 kg

50,000 Kg

54,000 kg

Truck & drawbar trailer with 6 axles

45,000 kg

52,000 kg

53,000 kg

NB: for Burundi, axle load limitation figures are not yet implemented

There is a plan to harmonize axle weight limit in all EAC countries. Typically, payload may not exceed 30MT for a truck of 6 axles.

For more information, please visit the following link.

Road Class and Surface Conditions

Classification

Administrant Agency

Network Length

22 National Roads

OdR

1952 km

91 Provincial Roads

OdR

2522 km

Communal Roads

OdR

2587 km

Urban Roads (Out of Bujumbura)

OdR

325 km

  

ClassificationDescription

Road Category 

Total Length (km)

Unpaved (Km)

Paved (Km)

National Roads 

1,952 

305 

1,647

Provincial Roads 

2,522 

2,501 

21

Communal Roads 

2587

2587

0

Urban Network (Bujumbura only)

462

0

462

Total Unclassified Network

6,150 



National Road (RN)Road with international links to Bujumbura and the major towns. (Bitumen surfacing and gravel)
Provincial Road (RP)Roads used for intra and inter provincial travel. Bitumen/ gravel.
Communal Road (RC)Roads in the rural areas.
Urban RoadRoad network in towns.

Burundi main corridors in country

-KOBERO-GITEGA-BUJUMBURA

-GASENYI-NGOZI-BUJUMBURA

-KANYARU-KAYANZA-BUJUMBURA

-RUHWA-BUJUMBURA

-MUGINA-NYANZA-LAC-BUJUMBURA

Burundi Transport corridors

Northern corridor: Mombasa-Kampala-Kigali-Bujumbura

Central corridor: Dar-Es-Salaam-Kabanga-Bujumbura

Southern corridor: Mpulungu (Zambia)-Kigoma-Bujumbura