KIREHE — The Red Cross coordinator in the eastern province, Erick Ndibwami, has called on humanitarian organisations not to always wait for disasters before helping people.
“You cannot wait to help people after they have been affected by natural or artificial hazards. It should be part of our work alongside our other activities,” he said.
He made these remarks during a brick making exercise by the World Food Programme (WFP), the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), and Red Cross members of staff on Saturday.
The bricks are for house construction for Rwandan returnees from Tanzania, currently resettled at Kiyanzi camp.
The voluntary work attracted over 180 staff members- who made an estimated 4000 bricks.
Earlier, the workers, most of them dressed casually in gum boots dug clay, collected water and mixed other raw materials before laying the bricks.
The WFP country representative, Abdulaye Balde, said the activities were in line with the cause for which humanitarian bodies were formed.
Ndibwami who has been overseeing infrastructure development at the camp, said he was satisfied with the partnership being undertaken in the settlement programme.
“If I take the value of the bricks we made today, it translates into one complete house. At least one family today is housed. The owner can use the house to obtain a loan and develop,” said Ndibwami.
The district official present, Benson Muhikira thanked WFP for this initiative which he said supplements government’s resettlement efforts.
The returnees said they were happy to see a group of people volunteer to help them build houses.
“I think what these people are doing deserves compliment. We are working day and night to help ourselves settle again. Any extra hand is normally appreciated,” the area Mudugudu leader remarked.
About 110 houses have so far been built at Kiyanza returnees’ camp that harbours over 120 families. There are still some families living in plastic tents.