A delegation of over 60 officials from UN-Habitat last Friday visited Nyagatovu and Kitazigurwa model villages in Kayonza and Rwamagana districts, respectively, and commended the different initiatives there.
The delegation, which also consisted ministers from six countries, were in the country for the International Tripartite Conference of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) on sustainable urbanisation for poverty reduction.
The ministers were from Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Chad, Burundi, Jamaica, Seychelles and Lesotho.
The delegation toured bio-gas plants, green houses, cow shed, community centre, among other facilities all set up in the two villages to make life better for the residents.
Addressing the media shortly after the tour, the Burundian Minister of Communal Development, Jean Claude Ndihokubwimana said that the delegation was overwhelmed by the set-up of the model villages.
“I am not speaking on behalf of others, but I am sure most of them just, like me, are wondering how Rwanda has managed to organise communities like this. The houses and their compliments make life easy and good for occupants. These are model villages indeed,” he said.
Ndihokubwimana acknowledged that Rwanda was a step ahead of most developing countries, in community settlement.
“In many countries, including Burundi, governments struggle to organise communities, both in urban and rural settings. Rwanda has tackled slums and rural housing organisation. We shall organise study trips for our people, to gain hands-on experience at these villages,” he said.
The Mayor of Rwamagana, Nehemie Uwimana, who guided the delegation around the villages, said that such tours motivate not only the visitors, but also government and its partners to develop more communities in other areas.
“When high level international delegates commend our deeds, we get encouraged. A similar village with dozens of housing units will soon be built,” he said.
The two villages accommodate over 500 people.