Environment

Catastrophe likely to occur in Kuwinterekwa in north of Bujumbura

Earth fissures continue to destroy houses at Kuwinterekwa locality in Gihosha zone of Ntahangwa commune in the northern part of Bujumbura city. Residents demand urgent help.

One of the damaged houses in Kuwinterekwa locality

In the locality commonly known as Kuwinterekwa, people live in a desperate situation. Some houses have already been destroyed and others are likely to collapse at any time due to soil cracks. Some people live in huts built in metal sheets because their houses were destroyed while others stay in their houses despite cracks on the walls.

“We fear the worst especially when it starts raining.” says Isaie Nibizi, a person whose houses were damaged. I live in grinding poverty since all my houses have been destroyed by these ground fissures, he adds.

Mr. Nibizi says the government told them it was going to move them but nothing has so far been done to help them. “We would have left the place already if we had had means,” he adds.
He asks the government to find them another place where they can build houses. “We should be given plots of land which are not far from the city so we can go about our businesses as normal,” says Nibizi.

Another local source says houses continue to collapse. “We built these houses on bank loans and we have not yet paid them back,” he says adding that they must leave the place before the start of the rainy season.
Contacted, Anicet Nibaruta, Deputy Director of the civil protection police says they are aware of the Kuwinterekwa situation. He says the expected funds are not yet given so as to handle the issue.
On March 27, 2019, the team composed of the Ministry of Public works, the Civil Protection Police and the Red Cross made a joint visit in Kuwinterekwa locality.

Antoine Ntemako, Director of civil protection police said “people living in half damaged houses and those which are about to collapse have to be evacuated to another place urgently”.
On May 23, Déo Guide Rurema, Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Livestock had said people living in Kuwinterekwa locality “had to move to another area”. For him, the locality is by no means a residential area.

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