During the rainy season, it was a very hard time for James Ntaganira and his wife Kellen Mukabaranga, their house roofing would drip because it was dilapidated.
Most of the time, the family would seek refugee from neighbors who have a good roofing, running away from their wet and cold home, the situation would be worse on rainy nights because they would barely sleep.
“When it rained, our house roof would drip in all rooms because our roofing was in dilapidated state, it was old and we lacked means to fix it, resorting to seek refugee from our neighbors which was very difficult at night with children,” Mukabaranga notes.
These residents of Bushoga Village in Nyagatare Sector of Nyagatare District are survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Their houses were built back in 1998, from that time they had never been rehabilitated because of limited means.
RDO (Rwanda Development Organisation) in partnership with Trocaire intervened to offer support and started mobilizing resources to improve their poor living conditions.
Nyagatare District identified the most needy and 21 houses were rehabilitated and inaugurated on 27th April 2023 in Bushoga, Nyagatare District.
The rehabilitated houses were in very poor conditions barely sheltering these families in the rainy season because of the dripping roofs and walls that were faltering, the houses were almost falling apart.
Damascene Ntambara, who represented the head of RDO at the ceremony said that his organisation was glad to have played a role in restoring houses of vulnerable survivors to better conditions. He thanked all stakeholders who played part especially Trocaire, the district, Ibuka and the beneficiaries.
“Through combined efforts from all stakeholders, we were able to complete this task that is aimed at bettering lives in Nyagatare and Rukomo Sectors,” Ntambara said.
He said that, initially there was limited resources to rehabilitate a few houses but there was a dire need for more affected families. To improve livelihoods, RDO established that more support was needed and mobilized resources, where each of the family was also given small livestock (2 goats), different vegetable seeds and were trained on livestock keeping and nutrition practices.
Annociata Muteteri, a widow from Burumba Village, Barija Cell in Nyagatare worried about the state of her house everyday, “I would see the moon from inside my house and on rainy nights I would not sleep,” she said.
Muteteri appreciated the support to rehabilitate her house, saying that they have given her hope and another breath of life and she is very grateful it was done during this period.
Officiating at the ceremony, Juliet Murekatete, the Vice Mayor of Nyagatare District in Charge of Social Affairs thanked RDO and Trocaire for the support. She requested the beneficiaries to recognize the support by handling well what has been given to them.
The Vice Mayor promised the survivors of Genocide against the Tutsi that the district authorities will continue to be near them and support whenever possible.
Modeste Sibomana, the programs officer at Trocaire in Rwanda, lauded the district authorities and RDO for good partnership while implementing the activities. He said that the impact of support can only be realized when all stakeholders participate objectively.
Sibomana said that, Trocaire has supported and will continue to support vulnerable communities in Rwanda whenever possible. “All problems can’t be solved at once but to gradually provide support inline with national needs.”
Violete Mukamurigo, representing other beneficiaries thanked RDO, Trocaire and district officials for rehabilitating their houses and giving them livestock. She said that the support came at the right time when they were most in need and as they remember their loved ones that perished in 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
She noted that Kwibuka 29 has been special whereby their houses were renovated, given livestock and they are building a memorial site in Nyagatare to honor the remains of those who were killed in 1994 Genocide.
Mukamurigo promised to take care of what was given to them, ensure hygiene, look after the livestock and maintain the kitchen gardens to get a good diet and improve their livelihoods.
She requested for support to get water harvesting facilities because of water scarcity in the area.
The vulnerable widows of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi who received this support are from Nyagatare and Rukomo sectors in Nyagatare district. Their houses were mostly built in the late 1990s, but the houses had never been rehabilitated because of limited means.