Yashyizweho kuri 5 April, 2016 | 16:52

PAX PRESS staff met Byimana authorities to prepare together an outreach community debate

Before organizing a community debate, PAX PRESS staff met sector staff to discuss about their sector: success stories, challenges, initiatives on which a community debate should be focused on. At 9/03/2016 , PAX PRESS was in Byimana sector,Ruhango district, southern Province.

Topics discussed during the workshop:

1.Agriculture: Citizens of Byimana practice agriculture. Mainly they cultivate beans and maize in marshlands. In marshlands maize are cultivated. But some farmers called abatubuzi claim that they didn’t sell they seeds to RAB last year as it was before.
2.Economy: In Economy the region is rich in clay so that many cooperatives use it to fabricate many products: bricks and tiles. But also, the region has a particularity of making craft where women especially manufacture them and sell to companies which import them outside the country.

3.Market: The sector locates the Kirengeri market which is not currently used. The reason is because it’s far from citizen. According to Nahayo there has been no consultation in building it. So people didn’t also want to join the market. Now the sector and district are thinking on how to finish the Ntenyo new market. For the first one of Kirengeri, district decided to give it to a macadamia investor which will use it as a factory.

4.Tourism: The sector has some areas known in Rwandan myths like Ku Ntenyo. This area is being now prepared to be a touristic site. Also Kanyarira Mountain where Christians use to go to pray attract many people. So the sector also is planning to make the area more beautiful so that it should pay for the sector.
5.Health: The sector has one health center and two health posts. The main problem in the sector is the location of the district hospital (Gitwe). It is far away compared to Kabgayi which is near. This becomes as a handicap to people while they use much miles to join the hospital and spend much money. As a consequence some prefer to pay mutuelle de santé elsewhere in order to be treated over there instead of Gitwe hospital.

6.Milk production. There is in Byimana a seller point of milk. But this doesn’t satisfy clients as it can’t buy all the milk brought by farmers. This is a problem as people are obliged to bring the milk to Muhanga market where, as they say, even the price is better. As a consequence that milk has not good quality as some mixes it with water to again enough money.

Success stories :

1.Handcrafts “uduseke” are a big success in sector Byimana as thousands of women and men use to manufacture them. They bring incomes in families and fight against poverty as they allow paying school fees and mutuelle de santé fees at time.
2.Cooperatives of children studying in primary schools. Those students instead of using the money they receive from friends or parents, they have they own accounts in Umurenge Sacco. One student has 80 000 RwF. This learns them to have a culture of saving from the earlier age.
3.In community work, Byimana sector which has many school establishments involves them. Schools owned some streets that they take care of every first Saturday of the month. This shows an inclusive collaboration between those schools and the administration.

How effective were strategies used to realize the event?

During the workshop, participants have been given enough time to express their views, to talk about their success stories and challenges. The passionate interaction between PAX PRESS delegation and the leaders of Byimana sector gave a sign of free expression of local community in the area. The executive secretary of the sector is very cooperative and wishes a continuous collaboration with Pax Press.

Niyonagize Fulgence

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