5 October 2017

Burundi: Gihungwe Residents Demand Compensation for Exploitation of Quarries

About 54 families from Gihungwe locality in Gihanga commune of Bubanza western province, owners of quarries where small stones are extracted to extend the national road no5-(Bujumbura-Cibitoke) have staged a sit-in this 5 October on the extraction site. They prevented the truck drivers from digging their lands because they have not received their compensation.

"The office in charge of roads promised to equally grant us compensation in vain. The deadline was set yesterday", says a mother of ten children met on the ground. She says those who hired fields only received compensation for the damage caused by the trucks. "We do not understand why the land owners did not receive any compensation as the lands were their source of revenue", says a sixty-old man met in Gihungwe locality.

Ernest Ntirabampa, resident and representative of those families says the office in charge of roads and residents have agreed that the lands should be returned to the owners after the extraction. He, however, says there was not any signed document of the agreement contract. "Not only, are we claiming compensation, but also, there isn't any contract that linked the company that exploited the quarries and their owners," says Ntirabampa. He says the compensation should be used to hire other fields while they are digging the quarries. "We are waiting for the fixed appointment, if nothing is done till 9 October, the activities of exploiting the quarries will be suspended", he says.

Léopold Ndayisaba, Administrator of Gihanga Commune says the residents and the agents of the Road office have agreed to meet on Monday, 9 October. "We think we will arrive at a good solution", he says.

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