BY GODFREY NTAGUNGIRA
The 2009 report in general implementation of EDPRS indicates that 81% of the targets set were met or exceeded with the strongest performance in the governance cluster which had an overall implementation of 91% of targets, the economic and social cluster achieved 78% and 75% respectively.
With regard to performance in implementing policy actions, overall performance was good with 80% achieved and 4% not met.
In the general implementation of Vision2020 and EDPRS targets, different sectors have done an impressive job but this time The New Times is bringing the performance of the Southern province.
Promoting economic development
The Southern Province has set itself one major goal to eliminate famine by reducing poverty . To achieve that objective, priority was given to a number of options.
Agriculture and Breeding
In the cluster of agriculture Southern Province concentrated on:
• Developing marshlands and encouraging the population to cultivate rice, maize and manioc;
• Increasing the quality and the production of by-products of coffee and tea
• Distributing selected seeds
• Striving to find communal activities requiring a great deal of workforce so as to provide work for many people
• To breed cattle in cowsheds, at least a modern cow per family
• To rear few cattle that are productive
• To participate in activities of fighting soil erosion though construction of vertical terraces
Key innovations and achievements
The Southern Province has a mission to eradicate hunger among its population and walking the talk the crop intensification program (CIP) has been implemented and has considerably reduced the hunger and poverty in the province; the growing of cassava and coffee in all districts especially in Nyanza, Gisagara, Kamonyi and Ruhango, passion fruits in Nyamagabe and pineapple in Gisagara.
The report indicates that 70 percent of the total area of the Province was protected against erosion by constructing efficient soil erosion control infrastructures.
To address this problem the provincial authorities have initiated a campaign of reforestation and conserving the old forests. Besides artificial forests, the province has natural forests like Nyungwe and Mukura that are a home to various species of animals.
Through Girinka program 7,979 families gained modern cows while 2,097 have benefited from loans in popular banks of Rwanda and under Girinka grants agreements between the government of Rwanda and Bank Popuiare.
Joint action development forums have been operational at provincial, district and sector levels.
Performance contracts have been evaluated in all districts as well as development partners.
The province recorded a decrease of 20% in number of crimes to compared 2007 and 2008 data on crimes in it.
Gacaca cases have been judged at the rate 99,7% for third category , 99.9% for the second category and at 38% for the first category.
Among 20 coffee lots that gained the awards in the 2008 coffee cup of excellence competition, 12 lots were from the Southern Province and the local population focused on increasing coffee trees, maintenance and productivity.
In the education sector, the Province recorded an impressive decrease in the dropout rate at 1%.
In the EDPRS framework, the Province has played a predominant role by allowing the people to take part in the decision making issues that directly concern them through the decentralization program and putting efficient means at their disposal.
The people were given a say during the selecting process of their leaders and to monitor closely the way these leaders fulfill their duties and manage their patrimony.
In line with the EDPRS framework, the province mobilised the population to play a role in seeking resolutions of their problems.
The Province succeeded in setting up of associations of people involved in the development of the Province to avoid dissipating energies or concentrating them one area while there are other areas which need to be developed. These associations have also been set up at district level.
5,100 poor and vulnerable families were targeted to benefit from shelter program for vulnerable groups: 1028 houses have been finished, 3,273 houses were about to be finished and 799 still under construction.
The Southern Province’s are focussed on:
• Fighting the AIDS pandemic and Malaria, the most deadly diseases in the country.
• mobilizing the population into adhering to the Mittuelle de Sante
• mobilizing mothers into giving birth in hospital, practicing family planning, getting their children vaccinated and ensuring hygiene at home (having a latrine, a manure pit, a shelf for crockery, a clothesline.)
The lives of mothers have been improved whereby 70 percent of births were assisted in the national accredited health facilities which reduce mortality rates.
90 percent of the population is covered under the health insurance scheme
Five districts Gisagara, Huye, Nyaruguru, Nyanza, and Kamonyi supported the youth initiatives in the youth credit and savings cooperatives’ (COJAD) creation and operation
Every village has a hill of excellence and special inputs were targeting the acceleration of the integrated development through this program.
Every district has identified an industrial park and industries are increasing in number and in capacity; four additional coffee washing stations, a factory for cereal processing and one tannery both in Huye, one passion fruit processing plant in Nyamagabe, one small factory in cassava processing also in Huye.
Preparations to begin the construction of a huge cassava based factory in Ruhango district have started.
Southern Province priorities and plans for 2009
a. Special attention to the promotion of habitant in settlements
b. Implementation of the nine-year basic education program
c. Increase livestock and agriculture productivity
d. Strong follow up of performance contracts for villages (Immidugudu) and families
e. Special attention to VUP and hill of excellence programs
f. ICT equipment in local institutions offices and staff
g. Electricity installation in local government institution offices and promotion of solar energy among the population
h. Industry promotion, especially industries based on agro-business
i. Tourism promotion; studies and preparation of tourism sites
j. Cooperative promotion; increase in
number and in production.