KIGALI - The Government in Partnership with the Rwandan Diaspora have launched a project aimed phasing out grass-thatched houses.
The project has been dubbed ‘Bye Bye Nyakatsi’ and its pilot phase will kick off with the construction of 504 houses for the vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Bugesera district, Eastern Province.
According to the Secretary General of the Rwanda Diaspora Global Network, Dr. Ismael Buchanan, houses in Bugesera will be built in what has been called a model village.
He said that the idea to phase out grass-thatched houses is a brain child of the Rwanda Diaspora and was developed during last year’s Diaspora Convention.
“LodeStar, an American company will develop a sewage system to the houses while Bugesera district has availed 36 hectares of land where the houses will be constructed,” said Buchanan.
He said that the American company has also pledged to construct 12 houses.
Each house will cover 600 square meters and it will have three bedrooms, one kitchen a bathroom and a toilet.
According to Buchanan, toilets will be out of the house and will be connected in a systematic way to a biogas plant.
“Each house will cost about Rwf 4m while the entire project is estimated to cost Rwf 2.5billion and we plan to have these house up and occupied within the next two years,” said Buchanan.
He also pointed out that the first year will be for public sensitization and fundraising while the second year will be for construction.
The fundraising kicked off over the weekend where over Rwf8m was collected from pledges and cash.
Buchanan said that Rwf 3.646.000 was collected in cash at the first fundraising while over Frw4m were collected in pledges.
The houses will be constructed in Ririma sector in Bugesera and according to Buchanan, the major stakeholder in the project are Diaspora General Directorate, Bugesera district and GCI Enterprises.
The houses will be constructed in modern village style that will have basic infrastructures and public facilities like hospitals, schools, a marketplace and roads.
Currently there are over 65,000 families living in grass-thatched houses and among those 11,869 are located in Bugesera district.
According to Buchanan, historically, Bugesera used to be a place where certain people would be dumped for isolation, which is the reason the area harbors majority of the families living in grass-thatched houses.