Residents vow to phase out grass thatched houses

GISAGARA – People who still live in grass thatched houses in Gishubi sector, Gisagara district, have promised to build new modern units before the end of June this year. Speaking to The New Times, the residents said they will do their best to construct better houses that match with the current economic and social situation of the country.

GISAGARA – People who still live in grass thatched houses in Gishubi sector, Gisagara district, have promised to build new modern units before the end of June this year.

Speaking to The New Times, the residents said they will do their best to construct better houses that match with the current economic and social situation of the country.

“Today, we have embarked on various initiatives to eliminate our current dwellings. We are involved in different income-generating activities and have started to save in order to enable us purchase material needed for us to build new houses,” said Tharcisse Munyagandwi, a resident of Gabiro cell.

“I have already started laying the foundation for my new house and I have also bought bricks,” he added.

Residents who still live in grass thatched houses in Gishubi sector are grouped in cell based associations that are sensitizing residents on the merits of modern housing.

Apart from joining in such efforts, the associations also help their members through support to increase their capacity to build new houses.

One way of doing that is through brick making ventures by members. The Gishubi sector Executive Secretary, Moise Ndungutse said he was convinced that by the end of June this year grass thatched houses will be a thing of the past within his sector.

“We have managed to find jobs for those who still live in such dwellings in order to increase their incomes. The first thing they do with the money they get is to collect building materials for constructing new houses,” Ndungutse said.

Statistics indicate that Gisagara district has more than 9,500 grass thatched huts, with more than 1,000 of them located in Gishubi sector.

The Southern Province is listed as the region with the highest number of grass thatched houses in the country, according to a report released last year.

Since then, authorities in the province set June 2010 as a deadline to phase out such houses.

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