Two years have elapsed since Clementine Kubwimana and fellow residents in Rabengera Sector in Karongi District got water channels enabling her community to get piped water for the first time.
That water, Kubwimana testifies, has on top of curtailing disease, been a big contribution saving lives through fighting food insecurity induced by drought.
“We always lived in uncertainty for our farming activities entirely depended on natural rain and during dry spell we went hungry for months,” says the 35-year-old mother of three who cast her vote from TTC Rubengera polling station.
As Rwandans were engaged in voting for their president yesterday, she said that, thanks to the water, residents have ventured in horticulture, growing egg plants and carrots, among other vegetables.
“We now irrigate our vegetables during the dry season and our food security has been ensured,” she said.
“I have voted a leader who will sustain and enhance gains in economic performance, welfare, Mutuelle de Santé (community health insurance), among other others,” she told Saturday Times.
Some 20 kilometres from TTC Rubengera, other residents were voting from Ecole Primaire Ruzu, a polling station for 2,771 voters. Seven villages convened in this remote site in Mukimba Cell in Rugabano Sector of Karongi District.
“People have been participating in election in large numbers and in freedom,” Evariste Sengoga, the polling station coordinator, told Saturday Times.
Valentine Ntivuguruzwa, 47, from the area, said residents used to harvest too little to meet their food security. However, after the Government made terraces on their mountainous land and introduced the use of fertilisers, their land became more fertile.
“We also used to grow mixed crops such as, maize, Irish potatoes, beans, and peas, which inhibited crop growth and productivity,” Ntivuguruzwa said, adding that they are currently growing maize and beans through crop rotation.
“The interventions enabled us to harvest enough for our food security, and have surplus for the market,” she said.
“I voted for a leader who will not segregate regions during his mandate, rather will lead all of them equally and ensure welfare for all,” she said.
At Ecole Primaire Gatwaro polling station in Bwishyura Sector, one Safari Musoni, 42, said he voted for a leader “who will maintain advances in security, development, people’s unity, and infrastructures such as roads and water.”
“I expect that leader to increase, say, threefold the already made gains,” the Kibuye Cell resident said.