Rwanda: Landslides - Govt to Close Over 90 Temporary Accommodation Sites

The government is implementing a gradual phase-down of temporary facilities that have provided shelter to 20,000 people displaced by the devastating River Sebeya flooding in the Western, Northern, and Southern provinces on May 2 and 3.

Initially, 93 temporary sites were established, with the government spending Rwf100 million per day to support the residents of these facilities, according to the Ministry for emergency management.

Over a period of 10 days, this expenditure has reached a total of over Rwf1 billion.

Pacifique Ishimwe, the Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs in Rubavu district, revealed that only one temporary accommodation site remains operational near College Inyemeramihigo in the Rugerero sector. However, she mentioned that it may also be closed within one week.

"Nyamyumba, Kanyefurwe, and Vision Center temporary accommodation sites have already been closed," she announced.

Before the closure of these facilities, each family will be given Rwf105,000, which covers three months' worth of rent, to facilitate their reintegration into the community, explained Ishimwe.

Additionally, families are provided with bedding, hygiene materials, kitchen utensils, and food that can sustain them for 15 days.

"We initially focused on assisting those who were renting before being rendered homeless by the disasters. We will now proceed to support homeowners whose houses were destroyed by the disasters. They will also receive rent fees while waiting for relocation to permanent houses, which will soon be constructed in safe areas," she stated.

Ishimwe further mentioned that three sites, two in the Rugerero sector and one in the Nyamyumba sector, have been identified to accommodate those being relocated from high-risk zones in Rubavu district.

"We have not yet commenced construction as the sites need to undergo expropriation procedures first," she disclosed.

Approximately 600 families have already been reintegrated into communities in Rubavu district, and another 500 families are in the process of reintegration after receiving three-month rent fees.

As of last week, 1,826 families, comprising 7,620 individuals, still resided in 25 evacuation centers, a significant decrease from the initial 20,326 people from 5,159 families who were accommodated in 93 evacuation centers across the affected provinces.

Jean Damascene Mvuyekure from Kanama sector in Rubavu district, who had been renting before his house collapsed, expressed his gratitude: "I was initially taken to the Kanyefurwe evacuation center and later relocated to the temporary accommodation site in Rugerero sector. Now, I have been given Rwf105,000 to rent a house for three months, along with other essential materials. I will also resume my casual construction work to earn a living."

Claudine Uwineza, a displaced individual from Nyundo sector, also received a three-month rent fee. She plans to start a small business selling vegetables and fruits to generate income that will help cover her expenses after the three-month period.

"I intend to invest a small capital in trading tomatoes since I am now back in the community, living in a house that the government helped me to rent," added Florence Iradukunda.

To support recovery efforts and enhance climate resilience in various sectors, an estimated Rwf296 billion is required. Additionally, approximately Rwf30 billion is needed to construct 3,006 houses for residents affected by floods and landslides.

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