GICUMBI - Residents of Rubaya Sector, Gicumbi District have hailed the Rwanda Environment Management Authority and the district’s authorities for constructing houses for them.
The residents, who spoke to The New Times after President Paul Kagame had visited the village settlements known as Imidugudu, Monday, said their lives had changed for the better since they moved into their new homes.
The 43 three-roomed housing units cost over Rwf 360 million.
“It’s good to live in Imidugudu, there is security because leaders are always close to us and hence we feel more secure,” said De la Paix Munyemana.
The father of three added that the settlements had increased access to social amenities like water and energy produced from biogas.
Most of the beneficiaries were needy and lived in thatched houses. They practised farming on the hillsides, a practice which was destroying the environment, according to REMA.
“We used to live in a terrible situation where mudslides would destroy our houses, especially during heavy rains. We still think it’s a dream come true now that we live in these nice homes,” stated 75-year old Rose Uwamahoro.
Jean Paul Nduwimana, another resident observed that living in village settlements had improved social relations.
Each resident living in the Kabeza model village has at least one Friesian cow also donated by REMA.
The Director General of REMA, Rose Mukankomeje, said the development was part of efforts to protect the environment.
“These people were living in the hillsides causing soil erosion, and living in settlements has improved the situation as they are now trimming terraces for better production,” Mukankomeje said.
Local officials said 57 more houses targeting the poor are still under construction.
The district’s vice mayor in charge of economic development, Alexandre Mvuyekure, said the district plans to construct a health centre and primary school in the area.