At least 11,950 families in Eastern Province are expected to have been settled in permanent houses by mid August this year, Denise Umwari, an official in charge of special programs in the province announced yesterday.
Umwari was updating district mayors on the task ahead among local officials in efforts to eradicate grass-thatched houses (Nyakatsi) after they failed to beat an earlier set deadline.
She added that an increase in prices of iron sheets and changes put in place to allow use of more modern building materials served to hinder the province from meeting the May deadline.
“We are going for hydroform-made bricks and tiles...this demands relatively more time and money than earlier anticipated,” she said.
“The Ministry of Local Government allowed us more time to end the issue of Nyakatsi. We hope to have finished at least by August 15. The price of iron sheets increased from
Rwf 4,500 to 6,500, hence disrupting our budget.”
Ngoma District Mayor, Francois Ntiyotwagira said, “the issue of Nyakatsi is as good as over” in his district save for some irregularities that emerged due to poor classification of needy residents.
“Local leaders in some villages poorly categorised people supposed to benefit from government support. For instance, some people were categorised as able to buy iron sheets, when they were not and vice versa. This is what we are mainly sorting out,” he said.
Rwamagana District Mayor, Nehime Uwimana, expressed reservations over the new deadline due to a rise in prices of building materials.
“I am not pessimistic, but I think we must be vigilant as we mobilise funds and the families to end the issue of settlement,” he said.
The districts of Bugesera, Gatsibo, Kayonza and Nyagatare have the highest number of needy residents to be resettled into planned structures.