Nyamagabe: Family is living in a 1 m2 shelter tent

Bavakure’s family lives in a very small house which is roofed with a sheeting tent. He was asked to build a house that fits the number of toles he expected to be granted, likewise his fellow indigenous families there.

The family lives in Kigeme Cell, Gakoma Village in Gasaka Sector, a 100 meters from main road to Rusizi. Right hand between Kigeme and Gasarenda centers. Bavakure’s couple has a child, they live in the village of indigenous people(historically marginalized) , below Kigeme refugees camp.

Testimonies from Kigeme center, say the Cell leaders promised iron sheets to villagers, recommending people to build small houses according to available sheets. And unfortunately, Noel Ndikumana, Executive Secretary of Kigeme Cell, opted to sell iron sheets for his own interests. This is how Bavakure’s lives in a one square meter house which they insist it is too small to accommodate three persons.

He is not alone to suffer, the same injustice is faced by Gahenderi who has two children and others. His house is uncovered, waiting for iron sheets, but in vain.

Doing so at only 1 meter large, in which he and family are living at the moment, Bavakure didn’t get the toles he was promised, the house is now roofed with a sheeting tent.

As seen on pictures by bwiza.com, Bavakure is not the only one who has this issue, as different people living in this village are homeless due to the fact that their houses are not roofed, having long waited for the grant of toles from local authorities but in vain. They accuse the cell officials who may have sold these toles. They are afraid of their lives as winter is coming too soon.


Iron sheets never given to indigenous

The story of ungiven toles to indigenous people is for long ago, from one regime to another. Amabati (iron sheets) has become a password to remind any unrealized promise. E.g: Workers use it to mean salary, arrears, loan and anything that delay in processes.

Along 1980s, indigenous (Abatwa of the time) were promised iron sheets by the president, but local leaders did not give. When the president visited the region, Indigenous had a dance “welcome president, we are always with you, but the iron sheets you promised have never reach us”.

All in all, promises from upstairs do not reach downstairs, due to local officials who think information could not come on top of country. This is why amabati is always means unrealised promise

Gakoma indigenous village is initially made 14 families of historical marginalized people, resettled there from various areas of Nyamagabe. The first families have houses, but their children face problems when they get married, they lack shelter.


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Fred Irakoze&Jean Baptiste Karegeya



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