Environment

One month not enough to leave Buterere wastewater plant, residents say

One month not enough to leave Buterere wastewater plant, residents say The government has given one month to the people residing all around Buterere wastewater treatment plant in Ntahangwa urban commune to leave the locality. House owners denounce the decision.

All residents living in the vicinity of Buterere wastewater treatment plant have one month to leave the place

Ladislas Mugisha, a father of two, has been living in Buterere neighborhood in Ntahangwa commune in the north of the capital Bujumbura for over two years.
He says he doesn’t understand why the government wants to dislodge people from the plots they have owned long ago. “It is the local administrative officials who gave us the authorization to erect houses in this neighborhood,” he says adding that the government accuses them of illegally occupying the public lands.
R.I, another mother of two from the same locality says it is not possible to leave the place in one month. “Even if we were compensated, it would not be possible to find another place to stay in one month,” she says. Government officials ordered us to leave the area due to the bad smell around the wastewater treatment plant. “I don’t know if the better solution is to go to the street, she adds.
For her, the government should find another better solution to the issue. “Some of us have applied for credits that we must reimburse. I wonder what we will become of us,” she angrily says. The government should compensate us as we can’t oppose the government plan.
On 30 January, the Home Affairs Minister, that of the Environment and Agriculture as well as that of the Public Works visited the locality. Pascal Barandagiye, Minister of Home Affairs ordered the owners of the houses located in the perimeter of Buterere wastewater treatment plant to leave it within one month.
“It’s impossible that the Municipality Technical Services-SETEMU move just because some people have illegally occupied the plots of land in its perimeter,” he said adding that the decision has been taken to protect the population. “Sewage treatment requires the removal of dwellings,” he said.

The National Security Council had issued an ultimatum to those residents for the first time on 20 July 2018. The Senate followed. Two commissions were set up to study the case. On 24 September, those commissions presented the report in the presence of five ministers. They recommended the return of nearly 64 ha, which were illegally occupied by local residents, to Buterere wastewater treatment plant.

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