A new rehabilitation centre to be constructed in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province will cost the government Rwf3 billion, an official said ahead of the launch of the construction activities slated for Wednesday.
Aimé Bosenibamwe, the director general of the National Rehabilitation Services (NRS), told The New Times that all was set for the works to kick off.
“The contract for the construction has been signed, the architectural design is already in place, and the budget worth Rwf3 billion is available,” he said.
He added that the Nyamagabe Rehabilitation Centre will host nearly 2,000 male juvenile delinquents, as well as drug addicts who are above 18 years old but below 35.
The construction activities will take about 16 months, he said.
The centre will be the third rehab that will be operating under the National Rehabilitation Services, a new agency that was established last year to coordinate all activities aimed at preventing, rehabilitating and reintegrating children and juvenile delinquents.
The government also has plans to upgrade the two existing rehabilitation centres to equip them with capacity to host more people.
Today, Iwawa Rehabilitation and Vocational Training Centre, which is the biggest, takes about 4,000 people while Gitagata Rehabilitation Centre has capacity to host only 400 people.
Bosenibamwe revealed that plans to upgrade Gitagata are underway and that some activities will start this month.
“The idea is to raise the capacity that both centres have. We want to be at a point where Iwawa can host about 6,000. Gitagata will also have capacity to host nearly 1,000 males and females after upgrading it,” he said, adding that the aim is to not just rehabilitate but also get the youth from the streets.
Gitagata, which is located in Bugesera District has been home to male delinquents alone, but with the planned upgrade, the facility will be able to host females who have committed minor crimes, as well as drug addicts.
The government has been making considerable investments in rehabilitating young people over the years, and with the growing global epidemic of drug abuse, the country is continuing to invest more efforts in curbing drug abuse and other issues that drive children to the streets.
Figures indicate that Iwawa centre alone ‘consumes’ nearly Rwf70 million per month to rehabilitate and reintegrate Rwandan youths.
At the centre, youths undergo psychological and health rehabilitation and are equipped with vocational skills such as in carpentry, construction, tailoring, driving and agriculture related skills.
The government has over the past three years reintegrated in society about 819 children but 219 of them ran back to the streets.
Many of them were taken to Iwawa Rehabilitation Centre because they were already above 18 years of age.
“We want to build a society of people who are free of drugs and able to contribute to the economic development and the transformation of our nation. Equally, we are fighting the issue of street children and this is why we are making more investments in rehabilitation and reintegration initiatives,” Bosenibamwe noted.