KIGALI - Rwanda Red Cross (RRC), yesterday, joined the campaign to eliminate grass-thatched houses, popularly known as Nyakatsi by launching a pilot project that will see over 30 families in Nyamata Sector, Bugesera district get new modern houses.
The campaign that started with five houses on one site will further be extended to others in various areas according to RRC Secretary General, Apollinare Kagarama.
“This week, we will be involved in various activities countrywide, all aimed at helping people who can easily be affected by natural disasters,” Kagarama said.
He added that the week is organized to mark the International Day of Disaster Management that is marked on December 5 every year.
Adeline Nyiraneza, 31, one of those whose houses are under construction, was excited that her family will now shift from a grass-thatched house to a better one.
“I cannot explain how I feel about what Rwanda Red Cross is doing for us… what I can only tell you is that I am indeed happy,” Nyiraneza, a mother of five said.
The Executive Secretary of Nyamata Sector, Jean Marie Murenzi, welcomed the gesture and called upon residents and other potential parties to come on board so as to eliminate grass thatched houses.
On reports that beneficiaries turn around and sell off iron sheets given to them, Murenzi warned them and promised that local authorities will always monitor the residents and sensitize them against the habit.
“It is not only our (authorities) responsibility, but also the yours (residents) to protect and take good care of the houses if they are given to you,” Murenzi told residents.
Students currently undergoing civic education at the district headquarters also participated in the event which was among others attended by the Bugesera vice Mayor in charge of finance and economic development, Julius Rukundo.