The New Times (Kigali)

19 July 2006

Rwanda: Govt to Ban Mud Houses

Kigali — The use of unburnt mud bricks commonly known as 'rukarakara' in the construction of houses is to be banned, the Minister of Infrastructure, Stanislas Kamanzi, has said. The Minister made the disclosure Wednesday 18, while responding to queries raised by legislators about the new plan to develop Kigali City.

He told Parliament that the new plan involves building cheap estates (pictured), without using the mud. "In collaboration with capable institutions, we have been trying to develop real estates around the city; we have a new plan of building cheap but standard estates for those who cannot afford the expensive ones," Kamanzi said.

Deputy Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi insisted that the Minister clarifies on the price of the 'cheap estates'.

In response, Kamanzi said that the cost of each house will not exceed one million Francs. "We plan to make each house cost less than one million so that whoever lives in the city can afford the house," the Minister emphasized.

Kamanzi also told the parliamentarians that the Caisse Sociale du Rwanda (CSR) plans to upgrade slum areas around Kigali into standard estates.

The Minister also presented the government policy on environmental protection, specifically the trees.

"We imported fifty brick-making machines because we were cutting down trees in the process of burning bricks and charcoal," Kamanzi said.

He also briefed house about the financial crisis that plagued the National Post Office, a parastatal whose woes were brought to light in the Auditor General's 2005 Report.

"The financial crisis in the Post Office was due to poor management that had been going on for a long period. However, we have tried to solve some of the challenges and I assure you there is a brighter future for the post office," Kamanzi told legislators.

It is the first time Kamanzi is appearing in Parliament since his appointment in March this year.

Kamanzi, who was Rwanda's Ambassador to the UN in New York before his appointment as the Minister of Infrastructure, replaced Emmanuel Bizimana in the March reshuffle.

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