NYARUGURU-Authorities in Nyaruguru district have adopted a new approach to promote people’s participation in governance and leadership.
Currently, 144 ‘Clubs d’Ecoute’ (radio-listening clubs) have been formed in various parts of the district to help streamline people’s views and have them heard by authorities.
The clubs will serve as a bridge between the people and the authorities, according to Marie Claire Niragire, the district’s Public Relations and Information Officer.
Through a radio program, Indashyikirwa z’akarere ka Nyaruguru, members of the ‘Clubs d’Ecoute’ will share their views and opinions on current affairs in their district.
“All members of a club will sit together, listen to our radio show and contribute to it, be it live or not. They will also be the first source of information and contribute in designing its content,” Niragire said.
“We, as authorities, will benefit because we will know what the population thinks and what they need before deciding on anything”.
Recently, each club received a radio receiver and batteries to help members follow the district’s radio show.
According to Fabien Kanyangusho, a consultant with the Support for Local Governance in Rural Areas Project (known by its French acronym,PAGOR), which partnered with the district to distribute the radios, the new approach will strengthen the population’s role in the leadership of the district.
“Radio-listening clubs will give residents an opportunity to speak out on decisions that authorities take. It is a top-down approach whereby authorities decide and the population implements, where leaders and the led sit and decide together on what to do in the common interest of the society”, Kanyangusho said.
Residents welcomed the move, saying it will be beneficial for the community. Jean Paul Nshimiyimana, a resident of Munini sector, observed: “Our district used to rank badly in performance contracts. This is partly due to the fact that authorities ignored
the benefits of involving the population in various developmental initiatives”.