The army week officially kicked off yesterday with Rwanda Defence Forces staff taking part in various activities across the country.
The national launch took place in Kicukiro District with free treatment at Masaka Hospital, cleaning of marshland and planting of beetroots.
The cleaning at ‘Umushumba Mwiza’ in Nyarugunga Sector, was led by Gen. Patrick Nyamvumba, the RDF chief of defense staff and the minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni.
Umushumba Mwiza marshland covers about 17 hectares.
It’s one of the city wetlands in Kicukiro District reserved for vegetable growing.
Gen. Nyamvumba told area residents that the army activities are meant to support citizens as part of a continuous drive to sustain the country’s development efforts.
“We have been doing this for the past years, and we pledge continue partnering with community members to ensure rapid community development,” he remarked.
Nyamvumba also mentioned that the activities are in line with liberation celebrations.
“This is also part of the continuous liberation journey. Of course, we ended the biggest liberation struggle but the journey to withstand what we struggled for, as well as build self-reliance continues. Therefore, we shall continue having such community-based activities,” he added.
This time, RDF intends to reach out to more beneficiaries across the country. Its outreach activities have been extended for a period of up to two months. They target to contribute to the development of more marshlands, conduct medical activities as well as construction activities.
Minister Musoni commended the activities and other important initiatives carried out by the military, saying that they help citizens to quickly transform their lives.
“We thank the RDF members for all the great initiatives they are carrying out across the country. Army Week is the biggest of all and we have seen how it has encouraged members of the community to even work harder. There are a number of other activities that they will be doing, including extending clean water, revamping of bridges, construction and medical activities, among others,” he told residents of Umushumba Mwiza.
Musoni told residents that the war to transform the lives of Rwandans from poverty remains and that it is up to them to also stand up and act.
Among the planned outreach activities include free medical services in orthopedics, gynecology, urology, internal medicine, psychology, psychiatry, ophthalmology, dermatology, dental, Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) and general surgery.
The specialised medics plan to handle 250 cases in eleven weeks while ophthalmologists will handle 750 surgery cases.
Through its Engineering Brigade and Reserve Force, RDF will also rehabilitate 18 bridges and one feeder road.
It will also contribute to construction of water access facilities. Army personnel will also participate in terracing activities to contribute to marshland and hillside farming in Ruhondo sector, Kansi sector in Gisagara district, and Ruhango sector, among others.
The army also plans to construct toilets and rehabilitate classrooms in Nyagatare, Karongi, and Ngororero districts among others.
The climax of the activities will be the connecting of 200,000 houses with solar units to increase access to power.