KARONGI - Local leaders have intensified efforts to get rid of grass-thatched houses in the Western Province.
It is estimated that the province has 31,294 houses with Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts leading with 10,897 and 7,788 respectively. Rutsiro and Ngororero have the least.
Rubavu district has 7,634; Nyabihu 1,653 while Karongi district has 2,224 grass-thatched houses.
Provincial Governor, Celestin Kabahizi, said yesterday that all local leaders should jointly work with the population to find internal solutions to the problem
“You should involve the local population in finding lasting solutions to this problem bearing in mind that it’s a collective responsibility to fight poor housing,” he said.
Kabahizi reminded the local leaders not to rely on government funding but instead work with the residents to minimize the costs of finding better shelter.
“The expenses are so many that we need to take it on our own to find cheaper means of getting decent settlements,” he said.
Fabien Sindayiheba, the Mayor of Rusizi, blamed poor housing on recent returnees from the Democratic Republic of Congo, whom he said have no capacity to build modern houses.
“Those people who fled to Congo during the Genocide return without any potential of setting up good settlements and it has resulted into having many grass thatched houses,” he said.
Similarly, Nyabihu Mayor J. Damascène Ndagijimana, attributed the poor housing to the topography of the area.
“Most of the land in our district has volcanic soils and it’s difficult to build good houses,” he said.