NYAGATARE — About 60 houses were on Monday closed by Sector and district officials in Nyagatare over sanitation.
A team led by the district mayor Robert Kashemeza also gave warning to plot owners who have failed to develop their plots since 1995. They targeted both commercial and residential houses.
Residents with dilapidated houses were given one month to renovate their premises or face indefinite closure.
The team moved from house to house checking on the state of hygiene in kitchens, toilets and bathrooms.
“We have closed a number of houses which are in a pathetic situation; the whole exercise is all about improving sanitation among residents. We have been sensitising them but they seem not to heed the advice. All of them will be fined and then given time to renovate their houses,” the mayor said.
The mayor said that the current land law gives powers to the district to repossess plots of land which were freely distributed to citizens but have not been developed for a period of three years. He said the plots would be redistributed to residents who are capable of developing them according to the town master plan.
The district carried out a land survey last year of all the undeveloped plots and the district advisory council is yet to approve the proposed redistribution of the plots.
“We want all plots developed. The owners should either find a way to develop them or sell them off to people with financial capacity to do so, that’s when Nyagatare town will have a better face,” Kashemeza noted.
When The New Times reached at Nyagatare cell offices found a number of residents irritated over the closure of their houses asking the authorities to give them more time to renovate their houses.
James Gakuru, the cell coordinator told the residents whose houses were closed that they would each pay Frw10, 000 to have them opened and give assurance to renovate their houses to the standards of town.