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Special Guarantee Fund, stakeholders step up improved compensation services

A lot has been done to satisfy people’s complaints relating to their properties damaged by animals living in different National parks in Rwanda, but, still, service satisfaction on timely compensation process still matters.

During the discussions held between officials from Special Guarantee Fund (SGF) and stakeholders, it has been raised that different people find it difficult to reclaim the money for their properties damaged by wild animals from National parks.

The discussions brought together different stakeholders, including Executive Secretaries of Sectors sharing borders with different National parks in the country, Insurance companies, Police and Rwanda Social Security Board (RSSB), among others.

Since the Fund was established, at least Rfw 1 billion has been paid to over 5500 people who were affected by wild animal property damages near the National parks.

Dr. Joseph Nzabonikuzo, the SGF Director General, claimed that the number of SGF staff is not small, and suggests communication from local leaders to the SGF staff should be improved to share information which is not biased to speed up the process of refunding the people affected by this issue.

“The staff should not be a problem because we have no pending cases so far to say that they are not solved because of staff shortage. What still matters is communication from local leaders who live with their people day after day so we can be aware of what has been damaged and start to study how we can refund them for the damaged properties,” Dr Nzabonikuzo said.

“That is why local authorities need to share information with us, to protect people from being victim due to compensation delay caused by late information”

He added that they are doing public awareness, through TV and radio talks and other channels of communication, to make sure information reaches people efficiently on the process through which they can use to be compensated as soon as possible.

He also urges people to immediately report to local authorities when their properties are damaged, so that they get compensated on time.

However, he suggests the government is in line to find a solution to avoid spending its funds compensating people for the damaged properties while those funds should be doing something else.

“The government cannot afford to continue to pay back people whose properties were damaged by wild animals as a prior option. The best option is to find the durable solution to avoid such payments, whose money would be contributing in other country’s development activities” he added.

Aimable Nsengimana, the Executive Secretary of Kinigi Sector, which touches Volcanoes’ National Park in Musanze, said at least the fund has come by the time it mattered and came up with solutions to people who were complaining day after day comparing to the previous times.

“We are happy that the fund came to end people’s frustrations while making compensation claims because they could find it difficult to know where they can claim their properties before the fund came,” he said.

Asked why compensation funds are sometimes delayed due to poor communication from local authorities to the fund staff, Nsengimana said that the compensation delay may be caused by incomplete information of people’s identity or the amount of properties damaged.

He also claims that people spend a lot of money going to the fund headquarters in Kigali while the transport money is not added to the money ought to be compensated, but believes the issue could soon be solved soon since he fund has established an online declaration portal for people whose properties were damaged so that a possible and quick follow up is done to compensate them on time.

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@Fred Irakoze


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