The Governor of Northern Province has assured residents of Kinigi Sector, Musanze District living near Volcanoes Park not to worry about relocation. This comes at the time when people have been receiving information that they are soon relocated which affects land usage. The land in question was demarcated to help expand Volcanoes National Park.
Dancilla Nyirarugero, the Governor of Northern Province says that the project for the expansion of the park exists but says that residents will be informed and given time to prepare to vacate.
“The project to expand the park exists although it has been slowed by budget delays, people must not worry because we will give them enough time to get ready for relocation when the project kick starts,” said Nyirarugero.
Jean de Dieu Nsabimana, one of the land owners says that they have been living in worry, wandering whether they will be relocated or not and two years have passed without using their land as it has to be.
Phimene Nyirampabanzi added “Our life depends on the land; we are farmers and it is where we get school fees for our children, and health insurance. We sell our domestic animals to get food but now they are finished.”
Governor Nyirarugero sees no reason for these people to stop using their land. “People are allowed to use their land, what they are asked is not to grow sustainable crops; they can grow rich potatoes, beans and maize. We will let them know when it starts and they will be relocated well.” She said.
Figures from Rwanda Development Board (RDB) indicates that the Gorillas population in Volcanoes National Park massive scale up from 380 in 2003 to 480 in 2010 while the recent population census of 2016 indicated that they have topped 600, which demonstrate that there was need for expansion. This project is expected to add 3,730 hectares to current 16,000 hectares, so that gorillas will be free, and costs USD 200 million.