Gasenyi residents claim compensation

Some inhabitants of Gasenyi area have staged a sit-in before the chief of Gasenyi area’s house this February 7, 2019. They ask him to be actively involved in their claim for compensation.

“Over 4000 families were asked to stop activities in their plots since December 2016”

A woman aged 30 living in Gasenyi area says there are houses which were being built but the construction activities were suspended. “There are also old houses that have already collapsed and we have no right to rehabilitate them or continue building others,” she says.

She adds that life has become more difficult since they were prevented from using their own plots of land. “There are police agents who control the site. No building materials are allowed to be brought near or in any of the houses concerned”.

Alexis Nzohabonayo is also one of the residents who claim compensation. He says he asked for bank loan to build his house and was obliged to stop building. “My unfinished house is getting damaged. I am watching it helplessly and this while my family struggles to survive because I am repaying the loan,” he says.

Alice, a mother of two, says she fears for her family’s safety any time there is rain because her house is about to collapse. “Whenever I hear rain during night, I wake up my children to avoid that the house collapses on us. It is on the verge of collapsing and I am not allowed to rehabilitate it”.

Jean Claude Hakizimana, chief of Gasenyi area, says the population’s claims are founded and promises to plead for them. “Over 4000 families were obliged to stop activities in their plots of land since December 2016. The government promised to come back with the solution within 3 months but we are still waiting,” he says.

Mr. Hakizimana admits that there are houses that are already damaged and their owners are obliged to seek refuge in the neighboring houses. “Over 123 houses have already collapsed”.

He says they have written correspondences asking the Burundian Ombudsman to get actively involved in helping those people but have not yet got any response. “I plan to set a commission of few people and we will continue to plead for them,” he concludes.

Since December 28, 2016, those residents of Gasenyi area have been ordered to interrupt activities in their plots. Residents are not even allowed to sell their plots in this area of 160 ha around the newly built presidential palace.