Yashyizweho kuri 5 April, 2016 | 16:44

PAX PRESS staff met Kivuruga autorities 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 debat should be focused on. At 02/03/2016, PAX PRESS was in Kivuruga sector, gakenke district, Northern Province.

Topics discussed during the workshop:

1.Agriculture: Citizens of Kivuruga practice agriculture. Mainly they cultivate beans and maize. Thanks to Twigire Muhinzi where 15 farmers are gathered like in cooperative, they participate together in buying fertilizers and seeds according to the organization of the group coached by an agent on cell level and supervised by agronomic of the sector. Even if the intention of Twigire Muhinzi is good but in practice the nature of the sector characterized by mountains is a handicap to the implementation of agriculture initiatives as some parts have high tangent slopes which don’t allow the land unification program for example and not satisfy the necessary space to exploit as required. But Twigire requires also some preliminaries. The vision is farmer’s auto-sufficiency in all. So government is retiring slowly its participation in helping people so that at a certain moment farmers will buy 100% fertilizers and seeds. Actually government pays 25% while farmers pay 75%. The problem is that in the 15th people composing the group some are poor and are not able to pay the amount necessary to complete government contribution in buying fertilizers and seeds. The wish is that government as it does in “mutuelle de santé” shall also help those poor. But also the level of understanding still low for some so that Twigire Muhinzi is not well implemented.

2.Prices of products: In this agriculture, according to the agronomic still also the problem of cost of products which is not equivalent to means used by farmers. The problem still on a high level where ministry agents imagine an average price to be paid to a product but forget that realities are different. For instance in Kivuruga the quantity of fertilizers used to a certain space are not equal to those used on the same space in south or eastern province because of the dosage. So when government fixes a price without taking in consideration local realities, farmers lose.

3.Education: The sector has 7 schools among them two schools centers and one boarding school. Actually there is a problem of lacking materials as new curriculum must be taught but books are not yet available. So teachers arrange themselves while waiting for new curriculum arrival. Other schools lack materials like laboratories, computers so that they still behind compared to others.

4.Poverty also among families is a problem. This has consequences to the future of their children. For example, for some students after schools increased school fees (because government reduces fees allocated to public schools in other to help 9&12 YBE), their families didn’t find money to pay new fixed school fees. So they have preferred to register them in nearest schools such 9&12 YBE ones. But students don’t find their preferable option and are obliged to learn but unwillingly. On another hand, a few number of students left the boarding schools unable to complete all necessary materials and fees asked.

5.Gender: There is a misunderstanding of gender policy in Kivuruga. In fact some men are biased about gender. They don’t understand well about the matrimonial regime where they ask themselves why a woman who didn’t bring anything in the family has same rights like a her husband after marriage. Otherwise, they still have a privilege to decision concerning heritage, considering their wives as not concerned. Sometimes money from the family patrimony is used in drunkenness. This bad behavior has consequences to development of women in their families as they can’t get easily credits because banks are not sure if their husband will not misuse it or force them to use it for other purposes.

6.Health: the region is facing a problem of malaria. In the past only 10 new cases of malaria/month were registered, now around 100 cases are treated in the health center. The lack of mosquito’s nets is one of the causes of the increment of malaria. Only pregnant women who are on the first pregnancy are given the nets.

Success stories

1.Imboni are volunteers on a village level who help in supervising about hygienic situation in families. Those give advice to people to take care of their body and house as it has been told that 80% of sicknesses have their origin in lack of minimum hygienic conditions.

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 Kivuruga 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.

Higiro Adolphe, PAX PRESS

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