Quake hit areas register steady recovery

Rusizi/Nyamasheke-Didace Mukeshimana is astonished with the reconstruction works at Nkombo Health Centre which was reduced to ruins by the 2008 earthquake. Mukeshimana is the head nurse at the health centre. Nkombo is among the many places that the earthquake gravely affected, in Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts.

Rusizi/Nyamasheke-Didace Mukeshimana is astonished with the reconstruction works at Nkombo Health Centre which was reduced to ruins by the 2008 earthquake.

Mukeshimana is the head nurse at the health centre. Nkombo is among the many places that the earthquake gravely affected, in Rusizi and Nyamasheke districts.

Rusizi and Nyamasheke have been able to undertake reconstruction of the bulk  of the infrastructure that was destroyed in the last 2 years.

“We are done with all the renovation works. Not a single earthquake survivor is still homeless,” says Jean Baptiste Habyarimana, Nyamasheke Mayor.

Close to 1,200 families who survived the earthquake are resettled in Nyamasheke.

The last batch of vulnerable survivors, some 530 people, recently received iron sheets from the district to enable them complete the construction of their homes.

The district has also built 200 new classrooms while Rusizi has 106, courtesy of UNICEF, in its reconstruction programme.

“New classrooms have replaced the temporary classrooms which were built with plastic sheets  in the aftermath of the earthquake,” says Fabian Sindayiheba, the  Rusizi Mayor.

Even the  places of worship  that were affected have since been reconstructed. A case in point being the Kamembe mosque that had collapsed,  killing tens of children who were taking Islamic lessons at the time of the quake. The mosque has since been newly reconstructed.

“Quick recovery and reconstruction was simplified by combined efforts  by the government working closely with organizations like UNICEF, churches and local people,” Sindayiheba says.

“Our village was in ruins, and after the quake,  we never expected any immediate help,” says Augustine Nsabimana, a resident of Nkombo.

Like Nsabimana, most remote dwellers thought renovation and living a normal life again was only a pipe dream. They had given up on owning houses and property.

“Nothing excites me more than attending school in a well built classroom,” says Daphine Umutoni, a form two student.

“The earthquake and its impacts have been addressed but this shouldn’t stop us from disaster preparedness,” warns Nyamasheke Mayor.

Last week, on the exact date that the earthquake occurred, heavy rains displaced 96 families in Nyamasheke district.

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