KINYINYA - A heavy downpour Sunday night left over 180 families in Rugarama village Kinyinya Sector in Gasabo District seeking shelter elsewhere with several houses damaged and on a verge of collapse.
Most of the houses have developed cracks and the affected residents have sought refuge in the neighbouring homes.
When The New Times visited the area yesterday morning, the affected residents had been called for an emergency communal work to drain the stagnant waters from the houses.
The desperate residents opted to drill holes in walls that would allow water go out. Property had been heaped outside the homes while children desperately watched as their parents tried to clean up the mess.
Some of the pit latrines were destroyed while others were overflowing with water mixed with excrement which puts everyone in the area at risk of waterborne diseases.
Apart from the village leader, no other local authorities had by yesterday visited the area despite residents’ claims that they informed them immediately after the downpour.
They allege that they have been neglected by the authorities despite having raised their concerns on numerous occasions in the past two years.
This is the third time these residents have faced such a catastrophe since last year. They allege that it is caused by lack of water drainage channels at a nearby site being developed by the Social Security Fund of Rwanda (SSFR).
“There are no water channels in their land, and when it rains, all water flows directly into our houses,” 53-year old Felicien Nkurunziza who was also affected said.
The said land is now fenced and residents say they were barred from going in to dig protective trenches.
City Mayor, Aisa Kirabo Kacyira visited the area in June last year following similar problems and allegedly promised they would be expropriated by SSFR as they had requested or extend any other help within a period of less than a month, but nothing has been done since.
The village leader, Elyse Rukebesha, said they had sounded alarms since 2008 but they have been given a deaf ear.
“This problem is known even at the top (KCC) but we don’t know why they don’t come to our rescue,” said Rukebesha.