Life has transformed! Happiness abounds for residents relocated to model villages (Photos)

By Esther Muhozi
On 20 June 2024 at 10:29

Rwanda had set a goal to improve the living conditions of its citizens by relocating those living in informal settlements and dangerous areas to Model Villages.

This journey began many years ago and has been given special attention in the National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) implemented from 2017-2024.

So far, some have experienced the benefits of living in Model Villages and have reported significant improvements in their lives.

In terms of urban development and housing, the Rwandan government aimed to resettle 205,488 families from informal settlements and relocate 10,209 families from high-risk zones.

The government’s efforts to relocate residents from dangerous areas have helped reduce residential land use and facilitated access to infrastructure such as roads, electricity, healthcare facilities, schools, water, and markets.

Residents who have experienced the benefits of living together in Model Villages praise the initiative for alleviating their fears of thieves and natural disasters.

People from various regions acknowledge that the Rwandan leadership has taken their well-being into account, allowing them to smile again.

Those who have been resettled in modern houses in Model Villages across almost all districts of Rwanda often highlight the benefits of having homes with two bedrooms, a living room, a bathroom, a kitchen, a gas stove, and a television, with access to water and electricity.

Many of these residents express satisfaction with their new living conditions and agree that their lives have greatly improved since being relocated from their previous homes.

Model Villages have become well-known and are inaugurated annually, especially during the Liberation Day celebrations, with new ones built in different areas.

Some notable Model Villages include Rweru in Bugesera District, Horezo in Muhanga, Karama in Kigali City, Shyira in Nyabihu, Gishuro in Nyagatare, Kinigi in Musanze, and Muhira in Rugerero, Rubavu District, inaugurated in 2023.

These inaugurations are celebrated events attended by high-ranking officials, demonstrating the government’s support for its citizens.

For example, on July 3, 2019, President Kagame inaugurated the Karama Model Village in Kigali Sector, Nyarugenge District, where 240 families were relocated from high-risk zones on Mont Kigali.

Other notable inaugurations include Gishuro in Tabagwe Sector, Nyagatare in 2022, and earlier ones such as Karama, Gishuro, Horezo, and Shyira in 2017.

In his speeches during these inaugurations, President Kagame emphasized that these developments illustrate that, after the country’s difficult past, all Rwandans now have equal rights to their country.

 Informal settlements, natural disasters, and the idea of building Model Villages

After Rwandans faced severe issues, including natural disasters that claimed lives, the government prioritized urban development and housing in its seven-year plan, despite setbacks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Rwandan government made significant efforts to find solutions for those living in high-risk areas, relocating over 17,000 families to safer Model Villages across the country.

For instance, in 2018, the country incurred losses of 204 billion RWF due to natural disasters, which claimed 234 lives, mostly those living in high-risk areas, and injured 268 others.

In 2023, districts in the Western and Northern Provinces were severely affected by disasters, resulting in over 130 deaths.

These events further motivated the Rwandan government to continue its efforts to relocate citizens to safer areas.

The 2022 General Population Census indicates that 65% of Rwandans live in Model Villages. Over the past seven years, 87 Model Villages have been built, housing more than 17,000 families.

Currently, Rwanda has over 250 Model Villages, a significant increase from 165 in 2016, with nearly 100 more added in the past seven years.

When President Kagame visited Horezo Model Village in 2018, it was another step in this ongoing journey to provide safe housing for Rwandans.

Here, President Kagame was being briefed on other projects constructed by the Rwandan Defense Forces.
When President Kagame had arrived at The Village of Horezo
The seating Rooms were filled with Necessary Furniture
Each household was provided with gas and stoves to help them cook in an environmentally friendly manner.
This is how Children's rooms are