FARG needs Rwf30bn for survivors’ housing

Alvera Mukabaramba, the Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs. File.

The Fund for Support to Genocide Survivors (FARG) needs at least Rwf30 billion for construction or renovation of houses of vulnerable survivors, parliament has heard.

Appearing before the parliamentary standing committee on national budget and patrimony on Tuesday, officials from the Ministry of Local Government and affiliated institutions said the money required would cater for either renovation or construction of some 2000 houses.

FARG is one of the institutions under the ministry whose officials were appearing before the committee to defend the ministry’s budgetary allocation for the 2019/2020 financial year.

Under the budget framework paper presented last week by the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, FARG was allocated Rwf32 billion, of which Rwf11 billion is earmarked for shelter.

The rest will go into other services like survivors’ education, health and direct financial support.

The officials told parliament that getting the necessary shelter for Genocide survivors has been further complicated by the increase in the cost of construction materials.

According to the State Minister for Social Affairs, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, the cost of one housing unit has increased fourfold from Rwf4 million in 1998 to Rwf12 million currently.

“This means that 2,000 houses could cost about Rwf25 billion and if the number of the required houses is more, which is likely to be the case if the information we are getting from districts is anything to go by, the total sum could go up to over Rwf30 billion,” she said.

She explained that the high cost of housing is in part caused by additional requirements, including household furniture, rainwater harvesting tanks, and cows for the vulnerable survivors whose costs had initially not been factored in.

Speaking during a recent interview, Emmanuel Munyangondo, the Director of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation at FARG, said that the Fund has over the years constructed 28,558 housing units and rehabilitated 4,714 others.

Over a million people lost their lives during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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