Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Musanze disaster victims call for district’s support


Women wade through flood water in Rwaza last year. Residents evacuated from the area say they need more assistance.
Former residents of Musezero Cell, Rwaza Sector in Musanze District,  have asked authorities to come to their rescue, saying the facilitation they got following a disaster in their former abode has not been enough.

The residents were forced to leave after a landslide buried homes following heavy rain. Sixteen families with more than 70 people were evacuated from the place. 

The residents say they were given a plot of land and iron sheets to resettle. They also say the district  promised them Rwf300,000 to pay landowners, but they have not received this money and the owners are demanding the money.  

Besides, they claim the land they were given was not enough to set up a house and other household partitions. 

“We have built houses on our neighbours’ land, which we did not pay for. We uprooted their crops before we built and now they are complaining. I have no land to trade off because my entire plot was ravaged,” Protais Uzabakiriho, one of the affected residents, said. 

“The place I was given isn’t enough, I don’t have where to build a toilet.”

The residents say they were advised by sector officials to trade off their former land with the plot they were given.

However, they say no one is willing to take the ravaged plots of land. 

“Our situation may worsen. We don’t have land for farming, we are hungry,” Belansille Akimanizanye said

However, district officials say the evacuated were promised Rwf300,000 only if a person’s land has completely sunk, which was never the case. 

One of the people whose land was given to the affected said he was not satisfied with the way his land was given away. 

“I didn’t give the land willingly. They said we would be compensated but we waited in vain,” a landowner, who preferred anonymity, said. 

Winfride Mpembyemungu, the district mayor, said the residents should not wait for government support because what government did was to evacuate them to save their lives and gave them primary support such as roofing and the plot of land. 

“We should have compensated them with that amount if their land had been totally damaged, which is not the case. If the plot is not enough local leaders will help the parties because it is an issue of coming up with a negotiated solution,” said Mpembyemungu. 

She added that the district will keep supporting the residents.


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