A total of 360 families resettled in Bikingi village, Kijote cell of Bigogwe sector in Nyabihu district have expressed worry over life challenges that include lacking Mutuelle de santé, land to grow food from and lack of documents of the land onto which their houses are built.
The majority of residents of Bikingi village are Rwandans sent away from Tanzania, repatriated from DRC and vulnerable residents relocated from risky zones.
They say the houses in which they live are not registered in their names and deprived of rights to access bank loans.
“Most of us were classified in the 3rd Ubudehe category. Whoever falls sick, we pray for him/her or apply traditional medicine,” said one resident.
Another resident queried; “How can you claim ownership of the house yet you have no documents showing it is registered in your name.”
“Had they given us land registration documents, we would be eligible to access loans in SACCOs,” said another resident.
Hurdles to find food
Residents of Bikingi repatriated from Tanzania can only plough around the home compounds without any other land. Others relocated from disaster risky zones say their land is quite far away that they hardly cultivate it.
“ As you see us, we are surviving on hard labor. We had been promised land to cultivate but we have kept waiting till today,” said a resident.
“From here to the place where my land is located, it requires walking 10 hours. SO it becomes uneasy to go there every day,” said another resident.
The mayor of Nyabihu district, Uwanzwenuwe Théoneste, has told IGIHE that the matter is known but apparently there is ‘no land available to offer them’.
“They have showed that they have a problem of finding land to cultivate. But you know that there is no public land available. The government cannot find land to offer to all citizens in need but the district’s commission in charge of the matter will seek what to do,” he said.
Uwanzwenuwe explained that living in these houses without land documents doesn’t mean they don’t belong to them.
“They should approach the sector department in charge of land registration but we will too send a team to study the nature of the problem of land,” he said.
The budget officer in Red Cross Rwanda, Ndimbati Pierre Claver which contributed in building the houses on the land provided by Nyabihu district explained that the houses belong to citizens adding that their management was handed to the government.