The government has launched fresh needs assessment to come up with new socio-economic stratifications to inform support programmes.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Unity, Human Rights and Fight Against Genocide, yesterday, Dr Alvera Mukabaramba, the Minister of State for Community Development and Social Affairs, told MPs that the social-economic classes are supposed to be cut to four from the current six arrived at after the 2001 needs assessment.
In 2001, Rwandans were placed in six categories depending on the economic status of each individual household.
Category one made up of those in abject poverty who own no property.
The second category comprises the very poor who own no house, live on poor diet, work for others to survive, have tattered clothes and are landless.
“These two categories are no longer relevant in the Rwandan situation. Actually scrapping them can enable people to strive to uplift their livelihoods further,” Mukabaramba said.
The third category is made up of the poor who own a small portion of land, have low production and their children cannot afford secondary education.
The fourth category comprises the resourceful poor who own some land, cattle, a bicycle, have average production, their children can afford secondary education, and have less difficulties in accessing health care. The other two categories, the fifth and sixth, include the rich who basically own big plots of land and live in decent houses, among other attributes.
“We plan to present the findings of the new classification exercise, to a Cabinet meeting in April,” the minister said.
Ladislas Ngendahimana, a communication expert at the Ministry of Local Government, said there have been several initiatives that have lifted people from the two categories like the elimination of grass-thatched houses and several nutritional initiatives.
The concept of reducing the categories is partly aimed at reducing duplication since, according to Ngendahimana, the more the categories, the more the complexity in getting the right criteria of identifying people fitting in each category.