Sunday, October 13, 2013

Huye families in Rwanda given relocation deadline

Jean Pierre Bucyensenge in via the New Times (Rwanda): Authorities in Huye District have issued a directive to 44 households and business owners in Rwabuye neighbourhood on the outskirts of Huye town to relocate to safer areas.

The decision, which has been backed by the District Advisory Council, gives residents until the end of the month to relocate. The area, adjacent Rwabuye marshland, is prone to floods, Mayor Eugene Muzuka said.

He said the district has ruled out the possibility of compensating the residents, saying it's for their safety from disasters that they are being asked to move. "They have settled in a marshland, which is naturally not suitable for habitation," Muzuka said. "In addition, some businesses that use electricity, such us grinding mills, expose the locals to extreme risks of accidents in case of floods." However, he said the district will assist the most vulnerable residents to get new homes, while those in the 'middle class' will be given plots to start afresh. The rest are on their own.

Sources said concerned individuals in the area have been given relocation notices and that the affected and most vulnerable are likely to be moved to Tonga, in Ngoma Sector.

However, some residents said they will not relocate without compensation. Joas Rutangana, a resident, said he is worried of relocating without consideration of his property. "If they decide to enforce the directive, it means they will have decided to ignore our rights [to these properties] and we will then become homeless," Rutangana said....

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