With 77,879 households and a population of 340,983, Kirehe is one of the seven districts that make up Eastern Province . It covers 1,11with 8.5Km2of the surface area.
The district is divided into twelve sectors namely: Gahara, Gatore, Kigarama, Kigina, Kirehe, Mahama, Mpanga, Musaza, Mushikiri, Nasho, Nyamugari and Nyarubuye; made up of 60 cells and 612 villages.
Kirehe district borders with Tanzania, Burundi in the south, Ngoma District in the south western part and Kayonza District in the North.
It experiences favorable climate that supports agriculture with four seasons per year making it possible to make two annual harvests.
A total of 90% of Kirehe district population depend on crop and animal husbandry. In the past seven years, the district saw a number of socio-economic development initiatives benefitting the entire population.
According to the Kirehe district Mayor Gerald Muzungu, this was the critical period the district has managed to register a commendable progress than any other period before and significantly improved livelihoods.
Muzungu says that before 2010, the district had no electricity , very few roads were constructed, while the bridges were in poor state making it hard for people to take their produce and other goods to markets.
The mayor says that all the developments in the district are attributed to good governance and justice, teamwork and people-participation.
The district developed charters that help people to clearly identify where to seek services. Line charters are printed and posted to every office at the district.
The district has had all its sector offices connected and targeting to connect a majority of the households.
“We had no electricity at all in 2010 but in the past seven years, we have managed to increase household access to 26.8 percent, ,” he said
Currently 37 cell offices out of 60 are connected to the grid representing 62 percent.
Over 18,000 households are also connected. Connections in trading centers has enabled springing up of small enterprises that use electricity, creating more jobs in the process.
Road construction has also improved, linking production areas to markets, public transportation and increased the usage of social facilities like school and health amenities among others.
Mahama- Mpanga and Cyagasenyi – Nganda roads have been constructed recently.
Other roads were built and others rehabilitated across sectors. In Rusumo layout plan.16 Km of Nyarutunga-Mulindi were rehabilitated with laterite; 10 km of Rwanteru-Kankobwa-Nyarutunga road were rehabilitated, rain water-diversion systems were constructed and 34 km of access roads in Nasho Sector were rehabilitated.
The construction works for Integrated Craft Production Center was completed and it is now in use.
To enhance beautification of the district, creation of two hectares of green gardens was targeted but, on whole, established 3.2 hectares, something that has changed the view of the township.
Promoting good housing and settlement in the district saw 50 households resettled in well planned settlements in Nasho sector where four-in-one houses and their kitchens were completed recently while 98 percent of households live in community settlement. Under water improvement scheme, the district has had tremendous improvement with current access to clean water at 80 percent
The district also targets to reduce further the home-water points distance.
The district has managed to construct a modern guest house, a modern taxi park and renovated the district headquarters.
Also, another major achievement is having the FM tower installed at Kiyanzi sector which the mayor says was a pledge of the president. The district also boasts of 21 telephone towers that help around 50percent households using phone to get a good network.
One Stop Border Post was constructed and is operational boosting the economy in the district given the short time spent at the border.
Back in 2010, the district revenue collection was Rwf200million but has since increased to the current Rwf812million this fiscal year.
The trading centers in the district are experiencing rapid growth with high potential due to the location of the district near Rusumo border which allows easy cross-border trade with neighboring Tanzania.
“We have rice factory, pineapple drying center and coffee washing stations, all these contribute in adding value to the produce ,” says the mayor
He added that the district has got 14 Saccos and three Bank of Kigali Branches in Nyakarambi, Nasho and Rusumo sectors.
Kirehe district has 64 primary schools secondary schools including twelve years basic education; three vocational training schools and three technical secondary schools which have boosted enrollment among school-going children and reduced the dropout rate.
The school feeding programme has been improved, feeding over 9,200 students.
The district also conducted school inspections and supplied equipment to Nasho Technical Secondary School.
In promoting adult literacy, the district has trainedadult people in reading and writing.
Three village knowledge hubs were established and are now operational.
There is no University in the district but with Partners in Health officials believe that they will get it in the near future.
There are also plans to have a nursing and midwifery university in the district in the future.
The district is working to promote and improve technical schools in the district.
In health sector, Kirehe has been one of the leading districts in the country in the use of medical insurance (Mutuelle). The district has one hospital, Kirehe District Hospital, seventeen health centers and eleven health posts.
A lot has been done to improve maternity health in the past seven years; for instance in 2015-2016 fiscal year, all targeted activities in this sector were completed In the same year, 9,402 out of 10,698 (88%) women delivered from health facilities and 55,427out of 92,966 (60%) women use contraceptive methods in family planning.
The district has established plans to eliminate malnutrition, crafted an assessment tool and compiled a report indicating the district is on truck to eliminate malnutrition.
Agriculture and livestock
The productivity of selected crops as maize, beans, rice and banana has increased especially with the use of fertilizers.
This increase in production has led to economic development and livelihood improvement. In the last year performance contracts, the district achieved over 96 percent in growing selected crops.
As of last year, the targeted production for maize was 4.3 tons per hectare but was achieved at 3.9 tons. For beans, two tons per hectare targeted were achieved at 1.36 tons.
For rice, the target was 6.3 per ha but achieved 6.4 ha, a 106%. and banana yields were 27.5 tons per hectare below the targeted 28.5 tons.
The district targeted to increase the number of farmers that use organic and chemical fertilizers for maize and rice at consolidated land which was implemented by 25,746 out of 25, 897 targeted farmers. A total of 300.3 hectares of marshlands were developed in Binoni, Kambwire, Gashongi and Kijumbura marshlands.
In practicing irrigation in the district; the target of developing 1,200 hectares of hillside irrigation using pivot system in Nasho sector was achieved at 75% after installing pumps, construction of water-house , pumping station house, supplying tractors and installation of 25 pivots. A total of 567.2 ha of progressive terraces that were built in addition to 126.2ha at Sagatare, 118ha at Cyanya, 69ha at Kiremera, 82ha at Kigarama, 102ha at Kagasa and 70ha at Mwoga.
The post-harvest systems to enhance producers’ access to markets and reduce post-harvest losses were developed. This involved construction of two new rice drying yards in Mushikiri sector.
In the last fiscal year the district targeted to plant 600 new hectares of coffee of which; 593.83 hectares, 99% of the target was achieved.
Much as the district possesses many eco-touristic sites such as Cyanjuna Mountain, Remera Mountain, Lakes, UrutarerwaMuzungu, Udusozitw’Amaberey’Inkumi, Falls of Rusumo, Rwakigeri Island in Lake Mpanga., district officials say that the potentials remain untapped.
However ,there is hope that tourism attractions will be developed in the near future to boost local economy by generating new types of revenues and job creation.