HUYE - The number of families in Rwaniro sector, Huye District, still living in grass thatched houses is still very high, despite efforts by local authorities to mobilise the community to adopt decent housing.
Freddy Ndikumana, the sector official in charge of infrastructure, in an interview with The New Times, said that out of 4,397 families over 400 still live in grass thatched huts.
Residents, who talked to The New Times, blamed the poor housing situation on poverty and the unavailability of alternative cheap roofing materials in the sector.
“Most people in our sector are poor. People here normally use tiles as roofing materials but they are hard to get and expensive in this area,” said Alvera Mukankaka a mother of three.
Ndikumana, does not entirely agree with the assertion that poverty has driven most of these families to live in grass thatched houses. He blames it on the people’s mind set.
“Of course some people live in grass thatched huts because of poverty but it is not rare to find a person who lives above the poverty line still living under a grass thatched hut in this part of the district, we need a mindset change,” he said.
The official revealed that the sector is now employing many of its poor residents in a swamp drainage project where they will be expected to save some money from their earnings to buy roofing materials.
Meanwhile, it has been reported that there has been a lukewarm response to the country’s policy to live in community settlements locally known as Imidugudu.
Only 24 percent of the residents in the sector have embraced this policy, according to sources. Compliance at district level stands at about 36 percent.