By the year 2020, 70 per cent of Rwandans are expected to be residing in model semi urban villages with the remaining 30 per cent dwelling in urban areas, according to the National Rural Settlement Taskforce in the Ministry of Local Government.
An official with the taskforce, William Ngabonziza, is sure the undertaking is attainable.
Ngabonziza says the project is divided into three housing categories including low, medium and high class categories made up of three, four and five bed-roomed houses, respectively, based on need and financial capacity.
The size and location of the settlement is determined by village based settlement committees with minimal government guidance especially on location criteria.
"The community is fully involved and has begun to believe the impossible is possible. This forms the core for model villages," Ngabonziza points out.
According to Ngabonziza, since 2009, each province has a functional model village. These are located in Rwamagana in the Eastern Province, Kamonyi in the Southern Province, Gasabo in Kigali city, and Karongi in the Western Province and Musanze in the Northern Province.
He explains that the model villages were set up as pilot projects to assess the viability of the project.
He says each district has put a model village in their performance targets with the financial backing of the United Nations Development Programme.
Ngabonziza explains that residents of the Rwamagana model village have embarked on intensive farming and presently make an average of Rwf 1 million from tomatoes thereby improving their wellbeing.
The model villages have also created job opportunities for beneficiaries who are involved in construction of houses and roads within settlements.
This has accelerated the completion rate of the model villages giving hope that the target would be achieved on time.
"We simply give out materials and technical labour. The manual labour is provided by beneficiaries who receive Rwf1,500 per day. They, however, work for six days and are paid for five days," Ngabonziza says.
"With concerted effort, we are sure to finish before the set time," he adds.
Beneficiaries are upbeat about the gains accruing from the settlements.
A resident of the Gasabo model village, Niyonsaba Cyriaque testifies that his lifestyle has changed for the better.
"I cannot explain what I see. We have electricity for the first time. It did not take too long to finish our houses. We no longer have to fetch water downhill yet we earn an income thus improving our lifestyles."
The Executive Secretary of Nduba Sector in Gasabo District, Godfrey Karamuzi, says all the community members now have easy access to various forms of infrastructure.
He adds that the involvement of beneficiaries has enabled the fast execution of the project.