RUSIZI— District authorities have directed residents to stop the use of about 30 structures which were seriously damaged by the February earth quake.
According to authorities, the move was a precautionary measure to avoid another catastrophe, because the houses were on the verge of collapse, after being weakened by the quake.
Jean Pierre Turatsinze, the district mayor, told The New Times yesterday that;
“We [district leaders] have closed more than 30 buildings that are in sorry state due to the earthquake that affected them early last month. The decision was reached after consideration that the structures were posing a threat to lives of people residing or working there, because they were on the verge of collapse.”
The buildings were closed on Tuesday, after a committee composed of district employees and security authorities carried out an inspection; to assess the state of all houses that were affected by the earthquake. The structures closed include commercial buildings, hotels, eateries, hair saloons, churches and some schools.
The churches that were closed include: Nkanka Parish, Cyangugu Cathedral Church, Nkanka ADEPR Church, Methodiste Church, and Cyirabyo ADEPR Church. Other buildings are Bancor Bank in Kamembe sector, some offices of National University of Rwanda also in Kamembe sector, Ten to Ten Paradise Hotel and Restaurant Ok.
Others are Restaurant Umucyo, Centre Pastoral, and Kiosks that belong to the district located in Kamembe sector, among others.
The Mayor said an understanding has been reached between the district and CIMERWA cement industry, to enable the victims of the quake secure cement at lower prices for reconstruction of their houses.
At least 1,177 families were displaced by the earthquake. Most of them have been given plastic sheeting, but they still lack utensils, according to the mayor.
He said those who were displaced would be resettled in two community settlement sites in Nkanka sector. In Kamembe sector alone, there are more than 70 houses that need renovation, according to a min survey by The New Times.