Burundi - Infrastructure, power, and communications

Burundi's transport infrastructure is very limited. A crumbling network of 14,480 kilometers (8,998 miles) of roads, of which 1,028 kilometers (639 miles) are paved, is used by only 19,000 passenger cars and 12,300 commercial vehicles. In 2000 the World Bank encouraged a 50 percent reduction of tanker trucks bringing in fuel to Burundi to reduce the erosion of the country's roads. A 30 percent refined petrol and diesel price rise at the beginning of 2000 helped to create a fuel shortage. The majority of Burundi's trade is conducted across Lake Tanganyika with the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is no rail infrastructure. As Burundi is landlocked it relies on the sea ports of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Mombasa in Kenya. Burundi has 1 international airport, which is located at Bujumbura, while another 3 airports exist but are unpaved. Only 12,000 people traveled by air in Burundi in 1998.

Burundi's power needs are partially supplied by the parastatal Regideso. It controls 4 small hydroelectric power stations that produced 127 million kilowatt hours of electricity in 1998. Burundi is also an importer of electricity which is drawn from hydroelectric plants in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Most of this power is consumed within Bujumbura. With only 17,000 telephone main lines, 343 mobile cellular phones in use by 1995, and no Internet hosts, Burundi's telecommunications system was underdeveloped.

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