RULINDO/GICUMBI – Modern farming practices as well as other forms of intervention have been attributed to changes taking place in the districts of Rulindo and Gicumbi.
The construction of terraces in most parts of the two districts has led to improved agricultural production because soil erosion has been controlled.
In Kaniga, Miyove and Rubaya sectors in Gicumbi, there has been a remarkable improvement in wheat, potatoe and bean production for the last two consecutive seasons, according to farmers. And they say their standard of living have greatly improved.
They no longer face food shortages and they are able to take their children to school, one farmer said.
According to district Mayor, Bonane Nyangezi, Ngondole Cell tops the list, for registering high production of creeping beans.
While in Cyungo and Rukozo sectors in Rulindo, there is high wheat production due to the wide use of manure generated by cows reared in the adjacent areas.
In Rulindo, communal kraals commonly called ‘Ibikumba’ were set up to promote livestock farming. “Ibikumba’ introduction is the only way to increase the number of livestock farmers in the district,” said the Mayor Justus Kangwagye.
Kisaro Sector in Rulindo is also the leading producer of potatoes, due to introduction of terraces along hilltops of the area, which has prevented soil erosion.
Livestock farming in the two districts have been boosted by government’s cattle restocking program of One Cow per family.
Flora Uwera, a resident of Nyamiyaga Sector in Gicumbi hails government for availing her with a hybrid cow which has since produced five calves.
“My cow has been a huge blessing to me it produces milk for home consumption and sale, while at the same time generates manure needed for high yield crop production,” she said.
Other residents have benefited from the government poverty eradication programme of Ubudehe. In Kageyo sector of Gicumbi, scores of needy residents have received shelter under Ubudehe, while in Byumba Sector residents got clean water.
“Nyiragasuruba Cell ranked 9th countrywide and the first in the district last year, for proper use of Ubudehe funds,” the Byumba Sector Executive Secretary, Jean Marie Vianey Gahano said.
Nyangezi says the district is committed to supporting the residents to construct a Biogas plant in the area so as to reduce dependency on biomass which degrades the environment.
Statistics indicate that in health, majority of the residents in the two districts have acess to health insurance.
The Kageyo Sector Executive Secretary Pierre Damien Sharangabo, said 96 per cent of residents in the sector, have health insurance, which has enabled them to reduce on the cost of medication.
“Residents access medical treatment at 10 percent of the total cost of medical expenses. This is a guarantee for having healthy residents,” the Director of Byumba Hospital, Deocles Mukama said recently.
At Muhondo Health Center in Gicumbi, majority patients who talked to The New Times hailed the government for making health services affordable.
The community health workers in Rulindo keep encouraging residents to under go voluntary counseling and testing of HIV (VCT).
According to the district’s 2009/10 performance report, over 7000 residents have been tested for HIV.
The Mayor says other sensitization campaigns to combat the spread of malaria, tuberculosis and malnutrition are being conducted.
In the education Sector, leaders say they have tried to reduce the level of illiteracy.
Over 1000 classrooms have been constructed in primary schools across Rulindo, to cater for rising school enrolment, the leaders say.
In order to encourage computer literacy in schools and among residents, community telecenters were built at Gasiga trading center in Rulindo and Byumba town in Gicumbi.
The various developments are attributed to the government’s decentralization policies, where development priorities are decided at grass root level, says Nyangezi.
Under the arrangement, residents choose their priority development projects.