19 Oct 2009
Of all the pages on the SURF website, the one that receives by far the greatest number of visits is the page of statistics on the genocide. The most popular search term on google that brings visitors to the website is “rwanda genocide statistics” and thus I presume that this is mainly students undertaking research into the genocide.
We recently updated and referenced the statistics. As well, through the work of one of dedicated volunteers, Matthew Betts, we undertook the translation of the Rwandan National Institute of Statistics Report on the Census of 1994 Genocide Survivors – which is only at present available online in French.
Worth noting within that report is the percentage of survivors which have asserted one or more cases of land ownership. This will become a pressing issue in light of the land registration programme, supported by the UK Department for International Development which is due to be completed by 2014. As the Financial Times recently reported, “the hardest part is resolving disputes without violence.” Many vulnerable survivors require support to ensure that they are aware of when and how to claim their land rights in this process.
Through the process though, one begins to realise that numbers can only ever tell so much. It is the survivors and their story which lie behind the statistics that convey a fuller picture, such as Ange: