Residents of Bugesera District attribute their increased land value to the new district master plan #rwanda #RwOT


In some districts where a master plan dictating land use has not been developed, individuals use the land as they wish, leading to activities such as constructing buildings on land designated for agriculture, which can cause future losses.

Residents of Bugesera state that the master plan has become proof that development has reached their area.

Alphonse Nshimiyimana, a resident of Ruhehe village, Batima cell, in Rweru sector, said, 'We used to see master plans being made for big cities like Kigali, Musanze, or other urban areas. But under the broad strategy taken by the government to develop rural areas, the land here will gain value and everything done here will also gain value, thus raising the living standards of the residents.'

Nshimiyimana explained that the master plan helps them understand where to build commercial buildings, factories, and other structures that contribute to community development.

Francine Bamurange, a resident of Ruramba village, Kindama cell, in Ruhuha sector, mentioned that they are ready for changes in construction and housing by separating commercial buildings from residential ones. She said, 'For instance, in the Ruhuha trading center, people both trade and live there, which is problematic. Trading in one place while living in the backyard does not align well. Therefore, in Ruhuha town, people will separate commercial buildings from residential ones. This will also lead to the construction of modern houses with all amenities since they will be outside the main city.'

'This will prevent land from being wasted because all land will be used for its designated purpose as shown in the master plan. Besides, the district is developing, and the master plan will 100% transform the lives of the residents. It will allow us to progress since even without the master plan, just the tarmac road alone has brought significant changes to the residents' lives.'

The Mayor of Bugesera District, Richard Mutabazi, told IGIHE that, in collaboration with the Belgian Development Agency, Enabel, various activities were carried out, including developing the district's master plan and setting up an information collection room for different activities using technology.

He said, 'Land use is crucial because when people build haphazardly, they might lack access to infrastructure. For example, roads might not reach where they have been built. People might have built in many places, but when you need a place with greenery and fresh air, you can't find it. Following the master plan will ensure well-organized construction. Additionally, infrastructure must follow, as the master plan outlines where infrastructure should go, roads should pass, and where playgrounds should be built, making it easier for district budgets and partners to plan without the need to create new plans for everything.'

Mayor Mutabazi emphasized that the master plan is a powerful tool to protect agricultural land from being built on, as people will not abandon houses to seek food. It is essential to protect agricultural land to sustain the population.

Emmanuel Ahabwe, head of the housing development department at the Rwanda Housing Authority (RHA), stated that, in partnership with Enabel, residents of Bugesera have been helped not to misuse their land.

He said, 'Previously, there were areas designated for agriculture, but due to their proximity to Kigali, people quickly turned them into whatever they wanted. Now that has changed; they must follow a specific plan. This project, supported by the Belgian government, ensures that.'

Bugesera District borders Kigali City and Burundi. It is home to over 551,000 residents, most of whom engage in cassava, maize, bean, and rice farming.

The National Land Authority (NLA) indicates that the 2023/2024 fiscal year will end with more than 10 approved master plans by the Cabinet, with only six to be developed next year.

Regarding environmental protection, the Kayumbu area has been developed with gardens where people can relax.

Alphonse Nshimiyimana, a resident of Bugesera District says that modification of the development master plan has added value to land in the area
Many locations in the district have subsequently been developed in line with the over all master plan
Infrastructure development such as the Bugesera Industrial Zone are some of the mitigating factors for development in the district
Mr Richard Mutabazi, the Bugesera District mayor is optimistic that the resources in the district will be developed according to plan
In Bugesera district, land monitoring and evaluation is done with the help of modern technology
Some areas in the district have been designated as Agricultural zones as a way of ensuring food security


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