Photo: HE Paul Kagame inaugurating Army Week activities for Liberation last year, Gishambashayo Primary School.
Eugenie Mukayisenga, a 37 year old Farmer and Genocide Survivor has been suffering from Goiter for 13 years until recently when the Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) came to her rescue.
During one of their outreach activities, the medical team from the RMH went to Ngenda Bugesera where they offered medical treatment to many patients among who was Eugenie. She had sought for treatment and a surgical operation for the goiter that she suffered with for more than a decade.
The mother of six is now a happy healthy woman and hopes to intensify her work as a farmer now that she has no medical conditions that would often make her feel ill and weak. “Because of the goiter, I have had to deal with a non-curable cough and headaches. It had become a yoke. Now am free! I won’t be moving around with a swollen neck and I too will wear necklaces like other women,” she happily said when this writer found her at Rwanda Military Hospital.
She added not only did she get specialized and quality health care but RMH helped her cover all other expenses such as food, transport and accommodation.
This is but one of the many people that bear testimonies to the social rescue and liberation from the pangs of disease by the Rwanda Ministry of Defense, through the RDF. Some have got endearing testimonies of being extricated from homelessness, others from poverty; for having been given cows by RDF and a plethora of other interventions.
From the foregoing, one would seek to know where such helpful RDF involvement in social economic activities is coming from.
“We are the first of generations charged with the responsibility to rebuild post-genocide Rwanda. This is our promise to posterity and to the world”, once HE Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda and RDF Commander-in-Chief said.
It is from the above guidance of the Commander-in-Chief that when the guns fell silent after defeating the genocidal regime -thanks to the well tested bravery of RPA later on RDF-, other deliberate frontlines againstmarginalization, social injustice and poverty were opened by the same RDF. In this line, the Rwanda Defence Force was legally mandated, to contribute to the development of the country in general.
Hence in the aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, which left the Country almost in a failed state status, the RDF embarked on the reconstruction phase. The Force has now become a reliable enabler and force multiplierin the transformation of Rwanda in all sectors for the well-being of the Rwandan Citizens.
To fulfill its mandate, the RDF, in collaboration with other Government Institutions, has played a noteworthy role in the liberation long way journey, by carrying out a series of practical and high value socio-economic activities aimed at supporting the national development agenda. Those activities are executed through, inter alia, the Army Week initiative, a home grown solution that was conceived back in 2009.
The MEDICAL Outreach Services
provided to the public, particularly in rural areas, are not only to help them improve their health but also on how to improve their lives in different areas of their lives. Among the areas are balancing the diet, drinking boiled water, visiting health centers for checkup. The Army week activity mission, is to ensure all members of the public are disease free.
Army week activities transforming lives
In health sector, RDF through the Rwanda Military Hospital (RMH) has provided to vulnerable people free medical care in various medical services and specialties. The latter include dental, dermatology, ophthalmology, internal medicine, gynecology, urology, ENT (Ear Nose and Throat), and general surgery. About 81,248 Patients have been treated so far Countrywide. Since 2012, people who have been treated in 27 Districts include 45,000 Genocide Survivors in partnership with the Genocide Survivors Fund (FARG). Worth noting also is that RDF has significantly contributed in the construction of 52 health posts countrywide.
In education sector, the RDF has been deeply involved in building primary and secondary schools as part of efforts to make available classrooms to pupils under the 9 and 12Year Basic Education programme. In this respect, 1,162 Classrooms, 168 accommodations for teachers and 1,126 pit latrines have been so far put in place countrywide.
In infrastructure and general welfare sectors, in close partnership with other Stakeholders, the RDF has contributed significantly in infrastructure development and housing for vulnerable groups. In the framework of ‘Nyakatsi’ eradication campaign and assistance to genocide survivors programme, about 77,220 modern houses were constructed for vulnerable peoples. Roads, including the Masaka road in Kigali City and Gakenke–Musanze road, were constructed and/or repaired.
At least 18 Bridges were constructed on Ruhango-Karongi road over Nyabugogo River. Other bridges were made up in Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe districts.
More than 60,000 people have today access to clean water, thanks to Army Week activities conducted in Rulindo, Muhanga and Rutsiro districts. About 39,584 families (83,4%) out of 47,474 identified as living in High Risk Zone (HRZ) have been relocated. Cooking stoves (Rondereza) and Biogas have been made available respectively to more than 719,498 families and 1,445 families, with RDF participation.
RDF also contributed Rwf214,148,155 to Girinka programme, meant to uplift the social well being of vulnerable Rwandans.
In environmental protection and fight against soil erosion, the RDF, especially the Reserve Force, has contributed to the plantation of 634,287 trees, whereas 477 Km of trenches were dug to protect the soil and enhance live stock productivity.
All the above shows that although the Country enjoy today freedom and peace, we need all together to keep the momentum in liberating Rwanda and Rwandans from poverty; and RDF is more than committed to fight that battle.
Let’s therefore celebrate the Liberation 22 keeping in mind that, as HE the President and RDF Commander-in-Chief has put it, “the battle for liberation did not stop at the victory over tyranny and stopping the genocide against the Tutsi”.
Happy Liberation Day!