Rwanda Commences Distribution of Free Houses To The Homeless
Rwanda has begun distributing free housing to internally displaced people (IDPs) and other documented homeless people on Monday.
The country began its attempt to ease the issue of homelessness and increase stability in the family unit for every member of its citizenry.
Over the years, Rwanda has championed an entire free housing revolution that cannot be ignored. In 2008, it adopted the “Agasozi Ndatwa” (model village) approach and according to the Red Cross, the first village was created in 2010 with technical and financial support from the Belgian Red Cross, the Directorate-General for Development and Cooperation of the European Union.
The futuristic program was officially started in 2010 under the name of Integrated Development Program. There are plans to replicate the model villages across the country. It is probably one of the most impressive measures implemented by an African government in the 2010s.
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The program was inaugurated by President Kagame in July 2016, and the Rweru Model Village, one of the first to be completed, is said to be “connected to electricity and water, has a modern market, a school and a 12-kilometer road network between Kagasa and Batima”.
Augustin Kampayana, head of human settlements and development at the Rwanda Housing Authority, told reporters: “We have identified settlement sites where villages are being built and projects are being done. By the end of the next fiscal year, each district will be able to have a model village,” before adding: “Those living in high-risk zones and scattered settlements will be considered first.”
This year alone, President Kagame officially opened the model villages of Horezo and Kanyenyeri, among many others. The poor in Rwanda seem to be achieving a more dignified life every day. In the President’s words: “We don’t build houses just to see them fall apart in a year.
Giving citizens a home means creating a foundation on which to build and transform their lives. It is not about citizens becoming dependent on the government forever.”
The objective is apparent: to create sustainable communities. According to the Rwanda Housing Authority, by 2020, at least 70% of households living in rural areas must have settled in viable integrated settlements that can provide economic opportunities, promote rational land use management, and accelerate the provision of basic socio-economic and physical services.
The government also waged a struggle against thatched houses in rural areas (Nyakatsi) and the program was also successful in improving the lives of the rural poor.