The government hopes to have eliminated all thatched houses, commonly known as Nyakatsi, by the end of the year, according to a senior official in the Ministry of Local Government
Augustin Kampayana, the head of Rural Settlement Taskforce in the ministry, said that so far, over 70,000 houses for the needy, who initially resided in Nyakatsi, have been constructed. 5,000 more will be completed by December.
The government spent over Rwf 6 billion on them.
The State chipped in to facilitate those classified as poor by giving them construction materials while local authorities were tasked with mobilising the population through initiatives like community work (Umuganda) to construct the houses.
“All thatched houses have been eliminated in the Northern Province and I believe that the ministry will achieve this goal in other provinces across the country before the end of December,” he said.
He added that what remains on many of the incomplete houses, are final touches, which should not take long.
The government had given itself a target of eliminating all grass-thatched by June this year, but it was not met.
According to Kampayana, this was caused by misinformation about those deemed poor.
“At the end of June, over 48,000 houses had been completed countrywide, but further evaluation indicated that 28,000 more households could not afford construction materials, thereby qualifying for our assistance,” said Kampayana.