KIGALI - In a crusade against grass thatched dwellings commonly known as ‘Nyakatsi’, the Diaspora has been allocated 36 hectares in Bugesera district to build over 500 houses for the poor in the district.
Gustave Karara, the head of the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network (RDGN) yesterday e-mailed Diaspora colleagues worldwide updating them on the project’s progress barely two months after the campaign was given green light.
In the e-mail, Karara provides a detailed plan for Liziyeri village, now dubbed the “Rwanda Diaspora Village in Bugesera” and notes the involvement of LeapStream Housing Group (LHG), an American company which has panel building systems for the construction of low, moderate to high-end housing.
Karara underlines that the Diaspora General Directorate (DGD) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Minaffet), RDGN, Bugesera District and LeapStream officials, recently met to evaluate the project so as to draw a concept paper that will clearly illustrate its nature, those who will play a part and the required budget.
“Yesterday, the vice Mayor of Bugesera came to the DGD offices and informed us that the district has already given us a piece of land the size of 36 hectares in Nyabagendwa cell, in Rilima sector and they are now preparing its master plan,” wrote Karara.
According to Karara, RDGN is following up on developments and another meeting is scheduled for February 5.
Speaking to The New Times on phone yesterday, Louis Rwagaju, the Mayor of Bugesera, emphasized that once finalized, the scheme will give a boost to the government’s rural development policy.
“Better quality housing will improve the rural poor’s social welfare and of course, positively impacting on the government’s policy,” Rwagaju said.
“We have a list of households living in grass-thatched houses and when time for construction comes, the local population has agreed to participate through Umuganda (community work).”
The government recently set May 30, this year, as the deadline for all grass thatched dwellings to be phased out in addition to having all Rwandans settled in community settlements commonly known as Imidugudu for purposes of better land management.