RE: “Gatsibo residents construct 10 Police stations” (The New Times, February 3).
Local development innovations are certainly a welcome move in the country. This story is quite refreshing indeed. At the cost of Rwf23 million per police station, multiplied by 416 sectors, it would cost the government approximately Rwf9 billion to build these important facilities across the country.
Looking at police salaries, vehicle fuel, security equipment and one quickly sees that 9 billion is not feasible in one year. Indeed, having a police station in your sector would take ages to happen.
In Gatsibo, the fact that there was a committee appointed to oversee the construction shows that accountability is not an obstacle and can easily be achieved. Imagine if this development model is replicated across the country.
We, the citizens, gain more from having these government services now rather than having to wait for unspecified period in the future. Kicukiro District recently announced construction of houses for needy residents during the monthly umuganda. Nyarugenge District has 16,000 families living in high risk areas (hillsides and swamps) and such an initiative during umuganda would make a difference.
Sometime in 2015, MINALOC (the Ministry of Local Government and Social Affairs) had a very commendable initiative of recognising and awarding district innovations but it appears this did not happen in 2016. I hope MINALOC will revive the exercise which constituted a very good forum for districts to learn from each other.
As one wise man said, there is no need to re-invent the wheel, scaling up proven ideas is often the way to go.