Rwanda: Rural Settlement and Habitation to Be Improved using GPS


In a bid to continue standardize habitation countrywide, the the ministry of local government has embarked on a program to provide GPS (Global Position Satellite) tools to the districts, to help them elaborate and design settlement maps and master plans.

As Local Government Minister James Musoni put it, local leaders should design their territorial plans in a more convenient and technological way. After making an inventory of all households living in Imidugudu, the findings showed that there was a need to improve the quality and the standards of village layouts.

"This is in line with ensuring sustainable land management, human settlement either rural or urban, developing the access to low-cost housing materials and elaboration of layout plans of Imidugudu sites," Musoni said. "So we think that with devices given to them all this will be easier, because they can now picture their territories and redesign them to match with their plans, and identify areas for habitation, farming, economic zones and other."

Esdras Rwayitare, the officer at the ministry in the department of territorial management, explained that district leaders and their technicians were trained on how to use GPS tools in designing their master plan and Imidugudu layouts.

"After the training, we have given them the devices alongside digital video cameras and laptops," Rwayitare said. "They will now have to design at least a map showing one village plan down to the cell levels within an agreed time, and we shall continue assisting them in the process."

Emile Nyakagabo, who is in charge of habitation and urbanization in the Gicumbi district, confirmed that they are ready to embark on the implementation process in better planning. "The GPS facility which will speed up the layouts of Imidugudu at the cell levels, and we will start to sensitize the population on the program so as to make clear guidelines," Nyakagabo explained.