Some of the youth residing on Bushongo Island on Lake Burera in Rugarama sector in Burera District say that their lack of development is mostly due to lack of transportation facilities at this island.
If by chance the youth can move over to the inland away from this island, they can do trade and develop themselves which is not so easy on the island as one of them Bonavanture Sebatware explains.
Bushongo islanders listening to their leaders
“I would like to trade but I cannot manage it here on the island. Transporting goods from the other side to this island needs me to have a boat, a lifesaving suit which I don’t have” says Sebwatare.
The Marine Police that operates in Lake Burera has a law that a boat without an engine cannot carry more than 3 people and the 3 have to be putting on lifesaving jackets. This law makes life difficult for the islanders as whoever goes against it is fined with Rwf20.000.
“Apart from complications one can pass through to get to do something like trade, getting customers at this island is not possible and that would be ultimate loss” says Maniraguha. “Islanders like buying their goods off the island and with their small number, trading here would not be successful.”
The youth on this island usually do farming and with good climate, they produce enough and sell them off the island and live on that. They say for them to do any other kind of business, they need to do so out of the island which is much more difficult.
Bushongo Island from a distance
Bushonga Island is in Burera district with about 10 hectares. It is resided by 68 families with 386 people in Rurembo cell and Rugarama sector.
There are no infrastructure on this island, for medical services, water, electricity and other services; they access that after an hour’s journey through the water to the neighboring area.
Rugarama sector as well as Burera district administrations is planning on soliciting investors to buy this area for investment and expropriate these families.
Bushongo Islanders say they have heard this story of being expropriated for a long time and they no longer believe it.