Four women bring light to Bugesera

An association of four women, who were widowed by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, connected over 110 households in Bugesera District, Eastern Province, with solar energy panels, s.
Nyirasengimana, head of the women’s solar association in Bugesera District, demonstrates to Minister Collette Ruhamya how solar energy equipment operate. (Photo by Ivan R)
Nyirasengimana, head of the women’s solar association in Bugesera District, demonstrates to Minister Collette Ruhamya how solar energy equipment operate. (Photo by Ivan R)

An association of four women, who were widowed by the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis, connected over 110 households in Bugesera District, Eastern Province, with solar energy panels, s.

In September 2009, the women who operate from Batima village, Rweru Sector were sponsored by the Government to a six-month training in solar energy technology and installation from India.

Soon after their return, they received a donation of equipment to start a business of solar energy to Bugesera.
Speaking in an interview, the head of the association, Catherine Nyirasengimana, said that unlike in the past, people in Bugesera can now get affordable solar panels which are self sustaining, healthy and environment friendly.

“Unlike kerosene lamps, solar energy does not pollute the environment and is not harmful to people’s health. That is why several residents in Bugesera acknowledged our work as an important milestone that can empower the whole district,” she said.

Nyirasengimana added that members of the association were using their expertise to train residents and secondary school students on solar technology so that they in turn export their skills to neighbouring districts.

During her visit to the association’s premises on Thursday, the Minister in Charge of Energy and Water, Collette Ruhamya, hailed the work of the association as a sign that demonstrates Rwanda’s great strides in empowering women.

“The government recognizes that empowering women will bring great development to our country. These four women prove the fact that we can rise from ashes to make our lives better as well as serve our country with our abilities,” Ruhamya said.

The minister also assured the women of the government’s support and that that she will be visiting them regularly to monitor their progress.

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