NYABIHU – Over 200 families who were evicted from Gishwati forest land in Nyabihu District, are set to benefit from a relocation programme spearheaded by local authorities and residents.
Last Tuesday, the Western Province Governor, Celestin Kabahizi led the residents in a three-day community service –Umuganda, to kick start the programme.
Local leaders say about 256 families occupying the forest land face eviction, 248 of whom still do not have houses.
The District set Kijote cell, Bigogwe sector as the new resettlement area.
Many of the evictees include those who were displaced by the floods in 2007.
Kabahizi said the community effort was aimed at proving to the residents that they need to take more responsibility in creating shelter for themselves.
The community service comes a week after the Prime Minister, Bernard Makuza, condemned the district authorities for delays in resettling the affected residents.
Residents, who talked to The New Times, however, complained that they are yet to get new parcels of land for cultivation.
“As the rain season is here some of us need new parcels of land for cultivation, we call upon the authorities to support us,’’ they said.
Speaking during the community service, the Mayor Damascen Ndagijimana, said the programme is set to be completed within the next one month.
He disclosed that the army, police, and other authorities have volunteered to help in the construction stage.