NYANZA-Efforts to resettle residents of Rwabicuma Sector, Nyanza District into community settlements have been frustrated by ignorance among residents, local leaders and residents say.
The community settlements, otherwise known as Imidugudu, is a policy introduced by government to accelerate rural development, through putting residents together where they can easily access infrastructure.
“Some of our neighbours are still ignorant of the benefits of living in village settlements. These are the ones resisting the policy. However, there are others who do not have the means to relocate to the established residential sites,” said Alexis Bizumurenyi, a resident of Gishike cell.
Only 26% of all residents in the sector live in community settlements, according to local authorities.
Imidugudu policy was also introduced in part to address the challenge of land scarcity and encourage better management of available land.
The policy also seeks to extend social services and infrastructures like water, electricity, roads, schools and hospitals, nearer to residents.
The Rwabicuma Sector Executive Secretary, Alexis Gasore, said that they have intensified the sensitisation campaigns to convince residents to relocate to community settlements.
He said those who cannot afford to build their own houses will be assisted.
“We are part of the government’s Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme [VUP] and part of it, is direct financial support to the most vulnerable people. But those who have the means to do it themselves, are sensitised on the benefits of living with others in designated residential areas, and we hope to increase the number of people in Imidugudu,” Gasore said.