NYAGATARE/GATSIBO - Residents of Nyagatare and Gatsibo districts whose land had been taken by Gabiro Military Barracks as production zones have reason to smile after getting back their land.
The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) handed back the land last Saturday at a ceremony presided over by the Minister of Local government, James Musoni and the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. James Kabarebe, in Rubagabaga cell, Karangazi Sector, Nyagatare district.
About 107 hectares of land belonging to 29 families in Rubagabaga cell had been used as part of the force’s production zone.
Speaking to residents, Gen. Kabarebe said that the land was not taken intentionally but RDF demarcated it as part of the barracks, basing on an old map of the barracks.
‘We took this land basing on the old records and decided to use it as part of our production zone. We are handing it back to you but make sure you use it effectively,’ he said.
Gen. Kabarebe further assured residents that RDF will support them in making the land more productive.
‘We have already cultivated this land. We shall help you to plant modern seeds that will boost your production in the next season,’ he said.
Kabarebe also promised RDF’s support in constructing a modern dam to be used by the residents’ cattle.
Minister Musoni said that the government will also plan how to set up water taps in the area to increase access to clean drinking water.
He, however, requested residents to utilise the opportunity and support provided by RDF, adding that they should be role models in the district.
‘RDF is going to use the land near yours for production, you should pick a leaf from them and become role models in this area,’ he said.
Residents welcomed the move and promised the Minister to transform the land by the end of August this year.