Solar power systems enhance public safety in rural Rwanda

Between May and June this year, Rwanda National Police (RNP) donated solar power systems to over 3,400 households - mainly those in remote areas in different parts of the country.

Between May and June this year, Rwanda National Police (RNP) donated solar power systems to over 3,400 households - mainly those in remote areas in different parts of the country.

Among the beneficiaries are residents of Gatare Village in Nyakariro Sector in Rwamagana District. Four months down the road, residents of this village speak highly of the impact from the solar power connectivity.

In Gatare Village, RNP donated solar power systems to 108 households.

Speaking at a town hall meeting that attracted about 2,000 residents on Tuesday, Concilia Kabarinda whose home was among those connected and was also given a cow, said police made her dreams come true.

“Look now, I have electricity and this cow, I have started enjoying the results of RNP compassion. I am able to get manure for my farm. Benefits will multiply seven folds, when this cow produces and I start to take milk,” she said.

Another beneficiary of RNP’s Solar Power project, Callixte Mutezimana, said criminality in Gatare village was high and criminals took advantage of darkness to steal people’s goats, sheep and pigs.

“Lights are everywhere in villages, the number of thieves that targeted our animals have significantly dropped because criminals are scared of getting seen and identified due to the lights at night.” Mutezimana said as he thanked RNP.

Francois Uwizeyimana, the executive Secretary of Gatare Village, also said that the Rwanda National Police free solar power connectivity eased communication since people no longer need to walk long distances to charge their cell phones, which he said helped them to communicate with authorities especially security organs in case they need quick intervention.

With better communication, people’s lifestyle has tremendously improved and residents say, a lot more are yet to be achieved.

In a related development, during the meeting that was presided over by police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police Theos Badege along with the Rwamagana District Mayor, Rajab Mbonyumuvunyi and other leaders, residents of Gatare vowed to pool personal and collective efforts that would see Gatare village become a crime free village.

Uwizeyimana said the leadership has devised some strategies to prevent criminal activities particularly the use of illicit brews and gins like kanyanga - a crime mostly committed in this place according to him.

He further added that, they will put much efforts in raising awareness among residents, enhancing neighborhood watch, commonly known as Irondo and sharing timely information with security.

In his address to residents, Badege, explained that the recent RNP initiative to donate Solar Power to residents is part of the force’s priority to improve welfare of residents.

He appreciated commitment and efforts of residents to prevent crimes and consequently hit the target to make Gatare village a crime free village and challenged them to ensure that they become a crime-free village.

Badege further urged them to walk the talk and put much focus on crimes like narcotic drugs and GBV.

“Crimes like defilement and drug abuse, not only frustrate basic human rights, but the vices also hold back the country’s progress,” said Badege.

The Mayor of Rwamagana District, Mbonyumuvunyi, commended the overall existing partnership of RNP with residents, not only in security matters but also nation building.

“Over the past years, residents of Gatare Village lived in isolation due to lack of electricity, but people are able to freely work and move around even at night. This is a sign of development,” the District Mayor noted.

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