Rwanda is planning to construct decent houses for 14,051 households displaced by disasters. According to Philippe Habinshuti, the Director for the Response and Recovery Unit at the Ministry of Emergency Management (MINEMA), in the framework of disaster response and recovery, the unit plans to build houses for those families across the country whose houses were destroyed by disasters and relocate them from high risk zones.
“We have to build houses for 11,696 households while 2,355 households will be offered plots of land in safe zones because they can build houses for themselves,” he said during the virtual dissemination of March to May 2021 rainy season forecast and the presentation of the performance of the previous season, which recorded a number of disaster losses.
According to official data by this ministry, at least 8,013 houses, 95 classrooms, four health centres, 151 roads, 102 bridges, 22 churches, 26 water supply systems, 96 electricity transmission lines, 16 administrative offices, six markets and one factory were damaged while 3,491 livestock died owing to disasters last year. The data shows that 5,968.653 hectares of crops and 458 hectares of forests were damaged by disasters while 290 people lost their lives as 398 were injured in 2020.
In 2019, the report shows, at least 271 disasters destroyed 5,687 houses while 10,610.45 hectares of crops were damaged. Disasters also damaged 203 classrooms, 30 roads and 50 churches, 40 bridges and 21 administrative offices, six water supply systems and 72 transmission lines, four markets and two factories while 2,979 livestock died in the same year.
Disaster losses this year
According to the Director, the losses that occurred in January and February this year due to heavy rains were unusual compared to the same period in the previous years. “The disaster losses have increased by 50% compared to the past three years. From January to now, at least 34 people lost their lives while 76 were injured. Damaged roads, housing units, among others, are twice the value of losses incurred during last torrential rains,” he said.