May 28, 2024

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Gasabo: Local Community Umuganda valued at Over Rwf 400 Thousands

Every last Saturday of the month all year round, is spared for community work around Rwanda. Locally known as “Umuganda”, Citizens pick tools; hoes or machetes to clean up their neighborhood.

It could be helping to construct a house for a homeless family, or repair a damaged bridge among many other activities.

On Saturday, July 28, 2018, residents of Gasharu cell in Gasabo District joined hands to clean up their neighborhoods, constructing toilets for needy families in order to help them have access to hygiene and sanitation facilities for the prevention of diseases caused by dirtiness.

According to statistics 3222 people from four villages of Gasharu cell, namely Rwankuba, Gasharu, Agatare and Kami participated in this Saturday’s Umuganda whose activities were valued at 483,300 Rwandan Francs.

The cell is located in Kinyinya Sector, one of the fast developing areas in Kigali city.

According to Moise Habinshuti, in charge of Social Economic Development in Gasharu Cell, at least 98.92% of the population over the age of 18 participated in this Saturday’s community work, a move seen as a mindset change comparing to previous community works held in past years.

Umuganda programme, loosely translated to mean ‘coming together in common purpose’, was derived from Rwanda’s traditional culture of helping each other. In 2007, a law was established determining Rwf5000 fine for anyone dodging Umuganda.

However, the cell officials said “These days we are using soft measures to sensitize local population on the importance of Umuganda” said Rukundo Theophile, the Cell’s Executive Secretary.

“When you see how the number of participation is increasing, especially among the youth, we are optimistic that citizens will not wait for fines. It will become part of their life.” He added.

Experts said that the community works and discussions after Umuganda have been one of the commendable initiatives that contributed a lot to the community cohesion and reconciliation after the 1994 Genocide against Tutsis.

On this Saturday, after the joint work, the population and their leaders discussed some topics including the security, the welfare of the community and not only that but also discussions around the preparation of the Umuganura festivities that will take place on August 3rd 2018.

Umuganura, literally rendered “thanks giving day” is Rwanda’s first fruits festival.

It takes place as the very first portion of the annual harvest begins to come in.

For some 1,800 years, this holiday has been a part of Rwandan culture and it continues to be so today

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