Rohe area seriously threatened by Kanyosha River

Over 50 families in the Rohe area have already moved out since the banks of Kanyosha River are gradually collapsing, thus, causing the demolition of the surrounding houses.

On the side of Rohe area, the banks of the Kanyosha River are collapsing.

On the side of Rohe area, the banks of the Kanyosha River are collapsing.

Rohe area is located at about 3 km from the national road RN7 (Bujumbura-Rutovu) in Kamesa neighborhood of Musaga zone in Bujumbura City. It is on the Gatovu hill, Kiyenzi area, in Kanyosha commune of Bujumbura province.

To reach Rohe, one has one has to go down a steep slope. They have to hang on; otherwise they would tumble down in the Kanyosha River.

From a distance, one can see the banks of this river. No houses around. A little up, sparse houses are visible. “Those who lived along the shores have moved out,” says a resident of Rohe. In order to cross the Kanyosha River, either one gets carried or takes off their shoes.

On the side of the Rohe area, one notices that the banks have collapsed by at least 100m. It is also impossible to grow any crop out there. One must climb more than 300m to find the first houses. And there too, some of them are already cracking.

“One day, we will find ourselves in the Kanyosha River”, warn Rohe inhabitants. “We are in danger. More than 50 families have already moved out, “said Pascasie Ndabemeye, chief of the Rohe area.” Before, this place was green but it has turned into a desert. We have nothing to eat because of the shores of the Kanyosha River that are collapsing. The farmland is dwindling away. According to the inhabitants of Rohe, only 40 families remain there. “Rohe was a very populous and beautiful village. Many people went to build elsewhere. They remain only widows, because they have no place to go,” complains Angélique Ngerageze, in her fifties.

“We are not able to solve this problem”

These inhabitants do not know which way to turn. “During the night, we hear the rumbling noise of the part of the mountain that collapses. One day, we will wake up to only realize that Rohea area does not exist anymore, “says Gilbert Ndayishimiye, a resident of Rohe adding that this situation creates conflicts between Rohe inhabitants.” When a parcel disappears, its owner tends to occupy someone else’s and conflicts arise directly.”

These people are unable to explain the cause of these landslides. “Some people speak of evil spirits that haunt this river,” says Angélique Ngerageze. “The banks began to collapse in the 1970,” says Gaspard Ndabaremereye, a septuagenarian from Kamesa district, Musaga area, in
Bujumbura City. “Some say there is gold. White people carried out the study of this soil, but we do not know what it revealed. ”

All the inhabitants of Rohe desire to leave this place. “The government should give us other lands elsewhere,” says Philippe Ndimurwanko, chief of Gatovu area: “We have already addressed this question to the communal council of Kanyosha. This is a very serious problem.” Jean Berchmans Munzerere , Administrator of Kanyosha commune, , says the commune has no lands where these inhabitants should relocate to.” We are not able to solve this problem, but we have informed our superiors.” Concerning the possible existence of gold in the area, the administrator of Kanyosha commune says that no study has been conducted so far to corroborate that.

Written Fabrice Manirakiza and translated by Lorraine Josiane Manishatse