The main street in Karongi Town in the Western Province. Districts have decried the crippling shortage of engineers. The New Times

Shortage of qualified engineers in several districts must quickly addressed be if development is to be realised, the Minister of Local Government James Musoni has observed.

Addressing various public servants on Thursday this week, Musoni said there was an urgent need to recruit qualified engineers stressing that they would also lead to improvement in service delivery.

The minister’s remarks come hot on heels of a pronouncement that several districts had failed to devise well designed master plans in their respective jurisdictions.

Only 18 out of 30 districts managed to design standard master plans. Others had to wait until the central government stepped in to lend a hand.

“There should be employees with the required skills such as engineers to enable the districts to improve infrastructure in urban centres as well. The infrastructural recovery revolving around the development of urban centres is very critical,” explained Musoni.

The Vice Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology, Francois Zimulinda, said it was necessary to assess the quality of “our engineers in the country to indentify the gaps.”

He said:  “There is need for collaboration between KIST and the government to identify the gaps so that there is improvement.”

The president of the Rwanda Association of Local Government Authorities (RALGA), Justus Kangwagye said lack of qualified engineers had derailed the required rate of urban development.

“Retaining such well qualified engineers is still a problem. They cannot be paid well and some of them leave for better opportunities,” observed Kangwagye, saying that district engineers are paid a meagre Rwf280,000 yet their demand was high.

By Fred Ndoli, The New Times

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