Diaspora group struggles to raise funds
Plans by the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN) to construct a model village for poor and disadvantaged families in Bugesera District have been slowed down as a result of financial difficulties, the group’s leaders have said.
RDGN Executive Secretary, Aimable Rwamucyo, said in a telephone interview that only about Rwf40 million was raised through fundraising, which prompted them to start with just a handful of houses.
The group is supposed to build about 500 residential houses in Nemba Cell, Rweru Sector in Bugesera District to the tune of more than Rwf2.5 billion as agreed during their December 2009 convention in Kigali.
“We decided to start by constructing nine houses, but this is just the beginning. The nature of our project is such that money can’t come at the same time,” Rwamucyo stated.
“As we continue to get more financial support, we will start other phases of the project,” he added.
“When we say that we are going to construct 500 units, we don’t mean they will all be constructed this year or next year; we will be implementing the project according to the priorities of the beneficiaries.”
The construction of the nine houses, he said, started last month and is supposed to end within three months.
Each house, he explained, will have three bedrooms, a living room, kitchen and toilet.
Rwamucyo, however, noted that they plan to construct schools and a health facility in the area, too, which were initially not part of the project.
“After consultations with the District and other stakeholders, we established that a health facility, schools and mushroom farm projects are needed for their [beneficiaries’] well being.
“I cannot say that all these will come tomorrow or the following day, but we are in talks with development partners and others on the idea. All I can say is that there is hope that all these will be built, but I can not specify when.”
He noted that they would continue to expand the project “but bearing in mind that the priority now is to build a school, health facility and other projects that can help residents in their fight against poverty.”
Bugesera Mayor, Louis Rwagaju, told The New Times that despite the presence of disadvantaged people in the district, the number has drastically reduced compared to previous years.
“They [RDGN] started by constructing few houses based on their capacity and we offered them plots for the first lot [of houses]. But we also promised to give them land to build a health facility, school and a community centre, which will be a training centre for local residents in mushroom farming,” the mayor observed.
Residents in Nemba travel about four kilometres to the nearest health centre and school.
Rwagaju noted there is an ongoing initiative by the area residents, especially in Rweru, to lend a hand in the construction of the houses.
By the end of 2010, there were about 6, 000 vulnerable families in the district.
“In the site we gave them [RDGN), there were about 14 families in need of shelter, but the district is currently building houses for them. But we are also constructing houses for 45 other families of Genocide survivors in various sectors,” noted Rwagaju.
In a related development, the first phase of the One Dollar Campaign project, another brain child of RDGN, is scheduled to be completed by the end of next month.
Eng. Appolinaire Sayinziga, the One Dollar Campaign project manager, said in an exclusive interview that 90 percent of the works is complete.
“We are now doing the painting, fitting glasses and tiles and constructing the parking yard,” said Sayinzoga.
The construction of one of the three four-storey hostels and a dinning hall, valued at over Rwf1 billion, started in January 2011 and was scheduled to be complete by the end of last month. “We faced some technical challenges such as weather,” he added.
Contact email: bosco.asiimwe[at]newtimes.co.rw