Habitat for Humanity Rwanda
This program is currently inactive
Habitat for Humanity discontinued its program in Rwanda. Currently, there are no plans to build houses in this region in the near future.
Why Habitat is needed in Rwanda
Rwanda came under the international spotlight when ethnic rivalry between Hutus and Tutsis came to a head in 1994. The genocide left 800,000 people dead, 2 million displaced and crippled the country’s fragile economic base. Rwanda is still in a state of recovery, made worse by its involvement in the conflict in neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.
Despite having good prospects for economic development, providing for basic needs remains one of Rwanda’s greatest challenges. The country is the most densely populated in Africa. 84 percent of the population live on less than US$2 a day and can barely afford basic necessities. Home improvement is a luxury most people cannot afford and poverty housing is endemic. A mere 41 percent of the population has access to improved sanitation.
How Habitat helps
In 2004, Habitat for Humanity launched a partnership with URWEGO─ an emerging Rwandan microfinance institution operated through World Relief. URWEGO and Habitat piloted a project that enabled families in the rural province of Kigali Ngali to improve their living conditions through Home Improvement Loans.
The houses needing improvement were usually made of mud and daub, with dirt floors and no doors or windows. They were built directly onto the ground with no foundations and their roofs offered inadequate protection, rendering the structures liable to collapse. Such conditions compromised comfort health and safety
- With the Home Improvement Loans, major structural improvements were made─ building or reinforcing foundations to stabilize walls, adding concrete floors and replacing inadequate thatched or metal roofs. Additionally, doors or windows were added for security.
- The repairs made with the home improvement loans directly increased safety, health, comfort and the durability of the houses.
- Following the successful pilot project, the program will expand to the regions of Kibungo/ Umutara and Byumba. This project will further benefit more than 600 families over a period of two years.
Facts about Rwanda
Location: Central Africa, east of Democratic Republic of Congo
Population: 8.6 million
Languages: Kinyarwanda, French, English, Swahili
Climate: Temperate, with two rainy seasons
Religions: Christianity, indigenous beliefs
Government: Republic; Presidential, multiparty system
Economy: Main exports include coffee, tea, hides and tin ore