High risk zone dwellers of Kibangira welcome their new Green Village

Jan 7, 2016

UNDP Country Director, Mr. Stephen Rodriques and a child living in Kibangira planting a tree. Tree replanting and watershed management are also part of the “Supporting Ecosystem Rehabilitation and Protection for Pro-poor Green Growth Programme". Photo: Gisèle Nyampinga

At least 34 families in Rusizi district will now start a new life in their new homes which were built through the support of the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

On 7th January 2016, 34 families living in Kibangira Cell, Bugarama Sector, Rusizi District inaugurated their new Green Village of 17 twin houses. The houses were handed over by Dr. Vincent Biruta, the Minister of Natural Resources, along with officials of Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA), UNDP and the local government.

Speaking to Bugarama sector residents, Hon. BIRUTA encouraged Kibangira village residents to own and expand the facilities and services being provided to them, as it is for their own benefit.

“This project is meant to help you access infrastructure and improve your livelihoods. We want you to own these new facilities and we encourage you to protect them,” Hon. Biruta told Kibangira village beneficiaries.

According to the Director General of Rwanda Environmental Management Authority, Dr. Rose Mukankomeje, Kibangira was selected as the most appropriate site for the relocation and resettlement of people who were living in high risk zones on the shores of Cyagara and Rungunga.

“This support was part of the programme intended to curb natural disasters which result from landslides,” Dr. Mukankomeje said.

One of the beneficiaries, Francine Uwimana said that the donation was a major contribution to the welfare of residents who have been living under fear of danger from Mother Nature.

“We used to live in fear of potential accidents in our former homes which were located in the steep hills. Now we are safe and our children are safer than before,” Uwimana said.

UNDP’s Country Director, Mr. Stephen Rodriques commended the Government’s efforts in resettling vulnerable communities on lands that are safe and where they can grow their crops and earn a living. He further stressed that UNDP has been and will remain a committed partner to the Government and the people of Rwanda, and will continue to support efforts to achieve sustainable development and a better quality of life for people.

“Kibangira Green Village is a testimony of what we can achieve when we all work together. We have a collective responsibility to promote development that is sustainable and pro-poor,” Rodriques said.

Rusizi is one of the gazzeted high risk zones in Rwanda due to its mountainous nature and the risk of landslides is considerably high especially in the sectors of Munganza and Bugarama. The programme assists local communities to access housing, sanitation, and water while, at the same time, protecting residents from landslides and soil erosion. Support for income generating activities is also a major component.

Kibangira Green Village was constructed by REMA through the “Supporting Ecosystem Rehabilitation and Protection for Pro-poor Green Growth Programme (SERPG)” funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

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