Community health workers in Karongi district have launched a mall worth Rwf350 million that will be capable of fetching more than Rwf95 million annually.
Dubbed “Agaciro Legacy Mall,” the complex which is located in Karongi town was built entirely from the savings the health workers.
The district has 1,611 community health workers organized under 22 cooperatives. Each contributed Rwf15 million for the project.
This development is the first of its kind for community workers in the country who work as volunteers who are not paid monthly salaries. The government facilitates them with performance based financing as well as tools like mobile phones among others.
The building is made up of two floors divided into 570 rental zones. A zone on the ground floor costs 9000 francs, while one on the first floor will cost 5000. In a month, the building is expected to fetch Rwf7,980,000.
Launching the building on Friday, the Minister for Health, Dr. Diane Gashumba described the development as an added value to the community health workers.
“If you look at the complex you built without a loan, it is something to be cherished. You have worked for your reputation,” she said.
Minister Gashumba also used the event to launch a solar power project worth Rwf1.5 billion in which community health workers countrywide will receive up to 32,200 free solar power systems courtesy of the government.
“It shows the President knows the work you do for Rwandans, he knows the battle you fight for the citizens to have better lives especially mothers and children,” she told the workers.
She emphasized the role of the Community Health Workers in Rwanda’s health system citing an example of their contribution towards reducing infant mortality rate, something which made Rwanda among top performers in the Millennium Development Goals.
Alphonse Munyentwali, the Governor of the Western Province asked the Community Health Workers to be both transparent and accountable as they run their new building.
“Let us not hear that this project has problems. We request you to manage it well,” he said.
Speaking on the behalf of fellow community health workers, Assiance Mazimpaka, promised that the project will be put under good leadership. He also stated that though it will fetch them a lot of money, it will not stop them from their responsibilities of extending services to Rwandans.