Show case slum upgradation model home unveiled in kimisagara by city of Kigali officials recently.
Kigali city in partnership with Rwanda Housing Authority and other partners have unveiled a model housing project meant to provide a new pathway of upgrading informal settlements in the city.
Official statistics indicate that more than 60 percent of Kigali city dwellers live in unplanned settlements further providing a strong incentive to provide new thinking on how to addressing biting shortage that is estimated at more than 30,000 units annually.
A study carried out by the ministry of infrastructure indicate that Rwanda’s total housing needs in 2012-2022 is estimated to reach about 460,000 units.
It came as a relief to Kigali city slum dwellers when eight families that lived-in high-risk zone of the city were given abode in a newly built housing block located in Nyakabingo Village of Kimisagara sector in Nyarugenge District.
Officials reiterated that the new housing model is part of the move to get residents living in the high risk zone of Kimisagara out of harm’s way without necessarily having to move them from their land.
The project dubbed 8 in1 affordable housing demonstration block was designed and implemented by Skat Consulting Ltd in partnership with Rwanda Housing Authority.
The entire housing block, which was constructed at a cost of Rwf100m according to officials, was built using locally made materials.
Other partners in the project include the City of Kigali and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The beneficiary families, on their part, contributed land where the new block was set up.
According to beneficiaries, with the heavy rains projected to strike in a matter of few weeks, projects like this are particularly relevant and much appreciated.
They say some have lost houses to recent mudslides while other properties have been swept away by floods, even though no life had been lost to disasters from the area.
They attest that of late, they could not sleep well thinking that anytime, heavy rains may come and sweep away their homes.
“When city officials came to us with the proposal and explained to us well how we would benefit, I immediately jumped on the opportunity and released our land because of the conditions we were living in.
We used to live in a three-bedroom house but we hardly slept because we knew that any time the house would be swept away by floods as it happened to some of our neighbors previously,”
From the 8in1 block, Uwambayingabire’s family got a fully equipped three bedroom apartment. City of Kigali authorities present during the commissioning of the project say that the model homes are meant to provide insight on how to fast track slum upgrading program in the city.
The new homes according to city officials are para-seismic in nature and therefore suitable for difficult topography like the hilly and slanted neighborhood in Kimisagara.
Speaking at the launch of the homes, the Minister of State for Socio-Economic Development, Cyriaque Harelimana revealed that the model homes unveiled is meant to inform how to execute government’s long term plan of working together with different partners including citizens to create more affordable urban settlements without moving people from their land.
“When you compare with their previous homes, anyone can easily notice a big difference. Apart from the beautiful architectural design, this block is strong and durable and can resist various forms of disasters.
“We thank the residents who gave out their land to set up the new block and ask others who will be approached in the following projects to join in big numbers,” he said.
The Swiss Ambassador to Rwanda, Ralf Heckner said that the project will strengthen his country’s longstanding commitment to support Rwanda in developing a strong construction sector value chain that can generate employment and contribute to building safe and habitable cities for future generation.
Additional editing and context by PMR editorial team
By Diane Mushimiyimana