Kirehe district excels in implementing initiatives that spur livelihoods improvement

Kirehe district has committed to improving the livelihoods of the people through various support activities that are eventually translating into tangible results. Through the performance contracts (Imihigo), in particular, a number of transformations have been realized in the year 2015-2016. With 77,879 households and a population of 340,368, Kirehe is one of the seven districts that make up Eastern Province. It covers 1,118.6km2 of the surface area.

PHOTO: 1437 adults trained to read and write

Kirehe district has committed to improving the livelihoods of the people through various support activities that are eventually translating into tangible results. Through the performance contracts (Imihigo), in particular, a number of transformations have been realized in the year  2015-2016.


With 77,879 households and a population of 340,368, Kirehe is one of the seven districts that make up Eastern Province. It covers 1,118.6km2 of the surface area.


The district is divided into twelve sectors namely: Gahara, Gatore, Kigarama, Kigina, Kirehe, Mahama, Mpanga, Musaza,  Mushikiri, Nasho, Nyamugari and Nyarubuye;  made up of 60 cells and 612 villages.


The district borders with Tanzania, Burundi in the south, Ngoma District in the south western part and Kayonza District in the North.

It experiences favorable climate that supports agriculture with  four seasons per year making it possible to make two annual harvests.

A total of 90% of  Kirehe district population depend  on crop and animal husbandry.  In 2015/2016 Fiscal year, the implementation of performance contracts saw a number of soci0-economic initiatives benefitting the populace. Kirehe district mayor Gerald Muzungu told  The New Times, about how many of these initiatives were implemented and how they have improved livelihoods.

218 biogaz were installed in 2015-2016 fiscal year

Economic development

There are three trade centers in each sector of Kirehe district which are, however, still small despite rapid growth rate in recent years. They all have high potential due to the location of the district near Rusumo border which allows easy cross-border with neighboring Tanzania. 

“Cross-border transactions present significant opportunities for economic gain and increased shareholder or investor value. Such gains are frequently enhanced by cost savings from rationalizing operations, administration, investment and other areas. However, cross-border transactions can generate additional revenues and create more jobs through operational efficiencies and proper planning” explains Gerald Muzungu, the district mayor.

1143 cows were distributeed under Girinka programme

Agriculture and livestock

The productivity  of selected crops as maize, beans, rice and banana has increased especially with the use of fertilizers. This increase in production has led to economic development and livelihood improvement.  In the last year performance contracts, the district achieved 96.1% in growing selected crops. The targeted production for maize was 4.3 tons per hectare and was achieved at 3.9 tons, a 91% attainment. For beans, two tons per hectare targeted were achieved at 1.36 tons equaling 91%. For rice, the target was achieved at 106% which means that 6.3tons per hectare that were targeted, achieved at 6.4 tons, and banana crops was achieved at 27.5 tons per hectare out of 28.5 tons that were targeted.

The district targeted to increase the number of farmers that use organic and chemical fertilizers in maize and rice at consolidated areas which was implemented by  25,746 out of 25, 897 targeted farmers to embrace the programme by cultivating maize, beans, improved banana, rice, soya and cassava.

Land consolidated of rice and maize

A total of 300.3 hectares of marshlands were developed in Binoni, Kambwire, Gashongi and Kijumbura marshlands.

In practicing irrigation in the district; the target of developing 1,200 hectares of hillside irrigation using pivot system in Nasho sector was achieved at 75% after installing pumps, construction of warehouse, pumping station house, supplying tractors and installation of 25 pivots out of 65; implemented at 113% . That implies 567.2 ha of progressives terraces that were dag after completing the construction of 126.2ha at Sagatare, 118ha at Cyanya, 69ha at Kiremera, 82ha at Kigarama, 102ha at Kagasa and 70ha at Mwoga.

The post-harvest systems to enhance producers’ access to markets and reduce post-harvest losses were developed. This involved construction of two new rice drying grounds in Mushikiri sector.

In the last fiscal year the district targeted to plant 600 new hectares of coffee of which ;  593.83 hectares, 99% of the target was achieved.

Land consolidated of beans and improved banana

The district produced 3896.155MT of cherry coffee where it was targeting to produce 2,660MT; this means that the target was surpassed by 46%.

By practicing the science of cultivating gardens, the district has 447.27 ha covered by horticulture (cabbage, carrot, tomatoes, onion) after hitting the target of 300hectares.

Since the GIRINKA Program was initiated, more than 10,000 beneficiaries have received cows. Meanwhile, the program has contributed to the improvement of social and economic welfare of the population, improving farming by generating fertilizers, increased milk production, increased households’ income and biogas construction as source of energy.

The use of artificial insemination increased milk and meat production and improved animal breed as well  as vaccinating cows to reduce disease transmission.

By supporting these programmes,36,716 animals (122.4%) of the target were vaccinated against diseases and 2,449 cows were inseminated.

Roads that were constructed in different sectors


Under the roads construction, the district targeted to improve linkage of  production areas to markets and public transportation and increase the usage of social facilities like school and health amenities among others.

Under water improvement scheme the district targeted to increase access to clean water, to reduce the impact of unsafe water (poor sanitation, diseases) and to reduce distance home-water points and improve economic productivity.

In the same fiscal year, the district targeted to increase electricity in the district by increasing households connectivity, promoting private investment and job creation.

FM tower installed at Kiyanzi

The district has run the construction of Rusumo Cross Border Market which is now at 20%, for running the construction they collected Rwf64 million, valuation and expropriation of properties and signed contracts.

Here the district observed that the expropriation process delayed the construction activities.

The district targeted to connect 2,965 households with electricity, which means that additional 3.8% was expected to be increased to the initial number. The result of this target left 1,851 households connected and 240 households ready to be offered power meters, this means that the target was achieved at 70.5%. Here the district indicates that it was challenged with insufficiency of power meters.

To increase  energy for cooking and lighting , 218 biogas digesters were installed in the district.

The district targeted to create and rehabilitate different roads across sectors.  Under this target, they created ten kilometers of roads in Rusumo layout plan. 16 Km of Nyarutunga-Mulindi were rehabilitated to 90% and compaction with laterite is in progress. 10 Km of Rwanteru-Kankobwa-Nyarutunga road were rehabilitated at 100% and rain water-diversion systems were constructed.

Irrigation technology in Kirehe district

34 km of access roads in Nasho Sector were rehabilitated at 100% and provisional handover was conducted.

Construction works for Integrated Craft Production Center was completed at 100% and it is now in use.

To enhance beautification of the district,  creation of two hectares of green gardens was targeted but, on whole,  established 3.2 hectares which means that the target was completed at 160%.

Promoting good housing and settlement in the district had a target of  resettling 50 households in well planned settlements in Nasho sector of which 52 four-in-one houses and their kitchens were completed,  achieving the target at  104%.

Increased access to clean water

In order to advance  access to clean water in the district, Gashanga water scheme was rehabilitated and extended to serve Kiyanzi and Kagasa cells. Under this project, construction of tanks and piping works are in progress but the targeted goal was completed at 150%.

Gahezi water scheme too was rehabilitated at 100% and started to serve.

Social development

Regarding to the Social situation, the Kirehe district has been implementing its strategies to improve social welfare of the population.

In 2015-2016 fiscal year, the district targeted and implemented different activities to improve its populations’ welfare.

A total of 593 beneficiaries were supported under the Fund for Neediest Survivors of Genocide program (FARG) direct support and 3,808 households were supported under Vision2020 Umurenge Programme (VUP) direct support program.

Kirehe residents in community work (Umuganda)

In running Girinka programme, the district with partners distributed 1,143 cows to more than 1000 households, this means that the target was exceeded to 114.3%.

By fighting malnutrition between children, 3,738 school children benefitted from One Cup of Milk Per Child program.


Kirehe district has 59 primary schools and 52 secondary schools including twelve years basic education;  three vocational training schools and three Technical secondary schools.

Classrooms that were constructed

In  promoting education for all and school feeding programme, in last 2015-2016 year the district targeted to feed 100% of students under Ubudehe category one. This target enabled 9,219 out 9,451 students fed at school.

The district targeted to construct 15 new classrooms, 36 latrines, 5 libraries and 9 Pre-Primary classrooms. This target left 28 rooms completed and four rooms on painting level, a 98% completion, 36 toilets completed at 100% and provisional handover was conducted.

The district also conducted school inspections and supplied equipment to Nasho Technical Secondary School Garage. 

In promoting adult literacy, the district targeted to train 1,252 people in reading and writing, a target that was achieved at 115% having trained  1437peoples.

Three village knowledge hubs were established and are now operational.

There is no University institution in the district but with Partners in Health officials believe that they will get it in future.

The district is working to promote and improve technical schools in the district.

Children reading in the village's Knowledge hub.


In health sector, Kirehe is the leading district in the country in the  use of medical insurance (Mutuelle) at 75%, a rate that they are still working to improve upon,  according to the director of health in the district Frank Mugabo.

The district has one hospital, Kirehe District Hospital, sixteen health centers and eleven health posts.

In 2015-2016 fiscal year, all targeted activities in this sector were completed In the same year, 9,402 out of 10,698 (88%) women delivered from health facilities and 55,427out of 92,966 ( 60%) women use contraceptive methods in family planning.

The 2014-2015 district plan to eliminate malnutrition was assessed and assessment report is available. The  district plan of 2015-2016 to eliminate malnutrition was developed and implemented.

Nasho health center

Construction of Nasho Health center completed at 100%.

The district is working to improve health posts and renovation of health infrastructures that are old to ensure good services delivery between health workers and acquire  new ambulance for quick interventions in the rural areas.

Good governance and Justice

Nothing can be achieved unless there is a will to promote good governance and justice at all levels  of governance.

Working together, understanding people’s views and complaints and seeking resolution together are what makes Kirehe district excel in all targets.

The district developed charters that help people to clearly identify where to seek for a service. Line charters are printed and posted to every office at the district.

Students fed under school feeding programme

In order to avoid bureaucratic delays, the district applies a ministerial order that directs local leaders to solve problems of people within their villages. It is in this line that every Wednesday of the week officials go to all villages to address  problems and sensitizing people on government development policies.

Under the 2015—2016 fiscal year, the district targeted to increase the value of community work value (umuganda) to Rwf705,258,480  which was surpassed to Rwf953,542,543.

In promoting equitable justice, the district resolved 2,441 complaints out of 2.780 in last fiscal year and  296 court decisions out of 366 were executed.

Electricity connections in Kirehe district


Tourism in Kirehe, officials say ,  is yet to be well developed , but there are  different potentialities that could be exploited in the future.

“Tourism is not very well developed and does not generate enough revenues  for the district because there are no suitable hotels for accommodating tourists. This district has only one hotel, and other potential touristic sites are not well-developed. Lakes and other natural geographical features could bring tourists, but hotels and camping facilities should be developed to this end,” one of the district officials says.

The District has many eco-touristic sites such as Cyanjuna Mountain, Remera Mountain, Lakes, Urutare rwa Muzungu, Udusozi tw’Amabere y’Inkumi, Falls of Rusumo, Rwakigeri Island in Lake Mpanga. Investors should be encouraged to invest in this area for eco-tourism enterprises development that will boost local economy by generating new types of revenues and job creation. The Development of a Tourism Master Plan with the objective of diversifying products and destinations would be beneficial in addressing current gaps.

Other economic  potentials in the district

  •          Water resources for agribusiness
  •          Mineral deposits
  •          Arts and crafts
  •          Abundant human capital for education and skills development
  •          Attractions for tourism development
  •          Suitable land and large marshlands for agribusiness
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