Those living close to Marshlands in Kigali City
due to be relocated have asked that they are first given compensation before
being asked to leave.
Meanwhile, officials at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority has reiterated that only those with valid land deeds will be compensated, and not those who were living there illegally.
Structures within 20 meters of Marshlands have been marked for demolition and those to be relocated say they need compensation before they go.
Anastasie Mukamugema, a resident of Remera Sector said; "It is a good initiative, but we should also benefit from it. Everything from this point down will be demolished, and these are structures I was renting and getting money from, for things like health insurance, and school fees for the children. All that will be demolished,"
Cyriaque Ndahirwa, another resident of Remera Sector added; "I have a land deed and the plot was valued, so they must compensate us because we are not living in the marshland,"
Drocella Mukarukaka, another resident of Remera Sector noted; "Be it money, we would take it and look for another place to move, or a house elsewhere as compensation, we can take that too and gladly leave, but we cannot just get up and go with nowhere to go,"
Officials at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) have reiterated that only those with valid land deeds will be compensated, and not those who were living there illegally.
Director General of REMA, Coletha Ruhamya said; "Certain activities are allowed in buffer zones, but not construction. You can plant a garden or trees, but some people overlook this and start building houses in such zones. I also want to explain that not all people will get compensation, especially those who were living in such areas illegally. However for people who have been living there a long time, or have older land deeds, then it is clear that they will be compensated,"
REMA officials also say the buffer zones will be used according to the Kigali Master Plan after all relocation activities are done and city authorities say the end of January will see them with a clear picture of all that is to move, as well as who qualifies for compensation.
Serge Ntore reports...
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