High costs stall plans to build homes for the needy

The general rise in fuel prices and the cost of cement and raw materials have slowed the progress of building houses for genocide survivors, historically marginalised people and other vulnerable groups.

The general rise in fuel prices and the cost of cement and raw materials have slowed the progress of building houses for genocide survivors, historically marginalised people and other vulnerable groups.

This was revealed Tuesday at the opening of the Public Accountability Day presided over by the Minister of Local government, Musoni Protais at the ministry headquarters.

The minister gave an overview on the progress that has been achieved by the ministry in different areas, and what is planned for the last quarter of 2008.

The housing programme for the year 2008 was to build up to 30,000 houses for vulnerable people, but was cut down to 17,300 units.

However, because of the changes in the price of fuel which has led to an increase in the price of cement and other raw materials, the number of completed houses for this second quarter is only 200, with 2,750 still at different stages of completion.

“Because of the current prices of cement, we are waiting to finalise negotiations with CIMERWA before we can resume supplying cement to the districts,” Ndayisaba said.

When the contract to construct the houses was signed not too long ago, the price of cement was Frw6,800 per bag of 50kgs, but currently it goes for Frw8,650 at CIMERWA in Cyangugu.

“This is really a problem because so far we have only supplied 40,000 bags of cement to the districts in the months of March and April, and we expect to resume in the next two to three weeks,” Ndayisaba said.

The Ministry of Local Government has budgeted Frw5,560,828,235 for building materials (cement, iron sheets and roofing nails), but has only paid half the amount.

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