The Director General of Social Affairs and Community Development in the Ministry of Local Government, Francine Tumushime, has said that validation of VUP beneficiaries for the fiscal year 2011/2012 still lags behind.
She made the remarks yesterday during a validation meeting to assess the findings of the progress of community development programmes in all the districts countrywide.
Vision 2020 Umurenge Programme(VUP) is an integrated local development initiative to accelerate poverty eradication, rural growth and social protection that started in 2009.
“The delays by the districts to validate the programme has derailed the identification of beneficiaries before the starting of the fiscal year (fourth quarter of the previous year),” she stated.
The social protection programme that targets reducing extreme poverty in targeted sectors currently covers 120 sectors out of over 400 countrywide.
Tumushime mentioned that all VUP beneficiaries recognise that the plan has contributed a lot towards the improvement of their living conditions.
“For the current fiscal year 2011/2012, all components in the VUP programme have not yet started except for public works, mostly in the first three sectors,” she noted.
She stated that the average rate of subscription to community health insurance scheme (Mutuelle de santé) is 78.5 percent in most districts, adding that Karongi is the highest with 98.4 percent while Nyamasheke and Rutsiro are the lowest with 66 percent.
During the same meeting, Dr. Alvera Mukabaramba, the State Minister in charge of Social Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government, said some local leaders were still ineffective in terms of planning and budgeting for social protection programmes in their respective communities.
“The findings are relatively encouraging although there are some areas that need special attention. We need you to put in place good planning mechanisms to ensure that the programmes become more productive to the people,” she told the leaders.
According to the findings, implementation of the community development programmes like VUP Umurenge, Ubudehe, Anti-Nyakatsi campaign, among others, are moving smoothly, but poor planning skills by local leaders still hinder their progress.
Mukabaramba urged local leaders to apply good planning skills for community development programmes in their areas of jurisdiction.
The meeting brought together vice mayors in charge of social affairs, provincial Executive Secretaries and officials from relevant ministries, to discuss progress and challenges in the implementation of social and community development programmes, and to share experience as well as seek for solutions in a participatory manner.
Dativa Mukabalisa, the Vice Mayor in Charge of Social Affairs in Karongi District, mentioned that her district had recorded good progress in the execution of community development programmes.
“We embarked on a campaign to sensitise the general public in Karongi to subscribe to Mutuelle de santé and the results are amazing,” she asserted.