Rwanda’s ministry of Disaster Management and Refugee Affairs (Midimar) is set to provide roofing to 130 vulnerable families affected by disasters in addition to the ongoing disaster mitigation efforts.
These include 27 families in Kirehe District, 22 in Bugesera, and 81 in Nyagatare District, according to the ministry.
Isabelle Mucyowera, the officer in charge of recovery and rehabilitation at Midimar, said the beneficiaries were shortlisted after a thorough screening of the lists of prospective beneficiaries sent to them by local leaders.
“We had lists sent by the local leaders but we also conducted our own field visits to make sure we extend the support to people who really deserved it. During our filed visits in all the three districts, we found that some had capacity to put a roof on their houses, while some did not need urgent relief,” she said.
Mucyowera said the ministry continues to call on the local government and individuals countrywide to take preventive measures to minimise the damage caused by disasters, such as settling in safe zones, fixing roofs with strong materials, refurbishing old houses and planting trees, among others.
Gakenke is among the districts that were recently hit hardest by disasters, with landslides there having killed 34 people and left 1,355 others homeless in May.
The district has since embarked on implementing strategies to minimise the effects of disasters, including terracing hilly areas.
“We leant a lot from that tragic experience so we have put up more effective measures that will help us resist such calamity in the future. People are planting trees, terracing their farms and digging water canals in valleys to avert flooding,” Gakenke mayor Deogratias Nzamwita said.
As far as settling in safe zones is concerned, the government has allocated Rwf4.5 billion in the current fiscal year to help people in high risk areas across the country move to safer areas and the money is used by local officials to buy building materials and plots for those who are indigent.
Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA) has also undertaken a fresh exercise to identify households in risk zones across the country.
The assessment started in March and is scheduled to end by June 2017.