The Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) is today set to launch what is dubbed as Army Week, during which a series of socio-economic activities will be conducted across the country aimed at addressing urgent ‘human security issues.’
Briefing journalists about the activities on Wednesday evening, the acting Defence and Military Spokesperson, Lt Col Rene Ngendahimana outlined various outreach activities to be done in collaboration with their partners.
These include provision of free medical services, construction of 1,120 houses for vulnerable Rwandans and rehabilitation of 18 bridges and one feeder road.
Others include helping marshland and hillsides farmers, extending water to residents in selected areas as well as provision of solar system to 21 health centers.
Construction and renovation of up to 100 classrooms in selected schools will also be done.
He said this commitment they put in is part of government efforts to overcome poverty and improve living conditions.
“The security of the country cannot be sustained when people don’t have human security,” Lt Col Ngendahimana said.
Since Tuesday, army medical personnel have been conducting medical interventions in various specialties including ophthalmology, orthopedics, dental and gynecology.
The specialised medics plan to handle 250 cases in eleven weeks while ophthalmologists will handle 750 surgery cases.
We do hope that medical services will run faster because the intention is to treat as many people, he said.
Other activities include tree planting in primary and secondary schools surrounding environments.
Citing 100 families that were relocated from Mazane Island to the model village in Rweru sector of Bugesera District last year, Ngendahimana said they have observed positive impacts in the previous Army Weeks.
“People had been living in shanty houses on the Island, their children were suffering from poor hygiene related problems but now there is positive testimony of how their living conditions were changed,” he noted.
“The impacts these activities bring to people keep encouraging us to work hard. When you see that people are developing, it encourages you to keep extending the activities to others,”
During the first phase of the Army Week more than 100,000 houses will be connected with solar-off grid.
At the end of the special intervention, the stakeholders have planned to connect 200,000 houses with solar units to increase the access to power energy.
RDF has intervened in fighting army worms that attacked crops in different parts of the country.
Ngendahimana said this exercise will not hamper Army Week activities.