The government will build new houses for over 3,000 families whose houses were destroyed by disasters induced by heavy rains in May this year, Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has said. He announced the development on June 30, while briefing Parliament’s joint plenary sitting on government actions related to disaster management and prevention. ALSO READ: Rwanda to spend over Rwf200 billion on disaster recovery In his presentation, the Premier outlined some of the government’s actions and plans for managing and preventing disasters. He also pointed out how the government has helped those affected by the recent disasters, and more interventions it plans to make for their welfare improvement. As part of government response and support to families affected by disasters, he indicated, 3,711 families were provided with rental assistance for three months, food, and basic necessities while their houses are being repaired or built. He indicated that from May, 438 houses will be repaired and that new houses for 3,088 families whose houses were completely destroyed by disasters will be constructed. “We have identified sites where the affected families will be resettled,” he said. Estimating the cost of a house at Rwf9 million, the Acting Director General of Rwanda Housing Authority, Noel Nsanzineza, earlier told The New Times that the more than 3,000 needed houses to resettle the corresponding number of families affected by disasters could cost some Rwf27 billion. However, he said the amount would rise to an estimated Rwf41 billion if the cost of the needed plots of land (about Rwf14 billion) was factored in. Varied support to people in need Ngirente told parliamentarians that the government provided nutritious food to children under the age of two, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, as well as older people to meet their nutrition requirements, “because we knew they had what we can call special needs.” To support education for students from the families in question, he said that the government paid school fees for them for the third term of this academic year, and will also pay school fees for the first term of the next academic year which will begin in September. Again, he said, the students were provided with items including school uniforms, scholastic materials such as notebooks and pens, and school feeding support, among others, in order to facilitate their learning. Over 20,000 residents were displaced and were taken to 93 evacuation sites so as to protect them from disaster-induced danger. He indicated that the residents were given urgent support including food. He said the most hit districts are Rubavu, Nyabihu, Rutsiro, Karongi, Ngororero, Burera, and Gakenke. ALSO READ: Death toll from disasters reaches 135, over 20,000 left homeless MP Veneranda Uwamariya said, “I want to thank the leadership of our country for what was done and what continues to be done so that people affected by disasters recover and their lives be free from danger. “The progress made in this regard is gratifying, where all issues were considered including providing accommodation and food to the affected people, as well as ensuring that children continue studying,” suggesting that students who will do national examinations should continue getting greater support. Meanwhile, Ngirente revealed that the cost of damages caused by the disasters that occurred in May amounts to more than Rwf222 billion. The cost covers damaged infrastructure including roads and bridges, electricity stations, water networks; and residential houses. ALSO READ: Disaster recovery cost rises to Rwf300bn as assessment proceeds According to Parliament, the government plans to spend Rwf215 billion on disaster recovery, of which Rwf132 billion is meant for infrastructure including road, water, and electricity infrastructures that were damaged. The remaining amount – Rwf83 billion – will help in other disaster recovery interventions. These include renovating damaged schools, and health centres, and relocating residents whose houses were destroyed to safer places.