On the 3rd of June, the steering committee meeting of the Slovenia Government and Karitas Slovenija-funded Tube Aheza, Amazi Hafi Project was held at Home Saint-Jean. The meeting was graced by the Karongi district Vice Mayor in charge of Finance and Economic Development Mr NIRAGIRE Théophile, Mr NIYONSABA Cyriack, the Executive Secretary of the Rugabano sector and priests from the Gisovu, Nyange and Mukungu parishes located in the sectors in which the project operates.
Tube Heza, Amazi Hafi Project was launched after the completion of the Ngira Nkugire Project, an eco-friendly project that was implemented by Caritas Nyundo/Kibuye under the coordination of Caritas Rwanda from January 1st 2018 till November 10th 2020. The implementation of the Ngira Nkugire project led to tremendous achievements and improvements in lives of beneficiaries and called for a continued collaboration along the Tube Aheza, Amazi Hafi journey.
Tube Aheza, Amazi hafi a project financed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Slovenia and Karitas Slovenija was launched on 20th August 2021 by Caritas Rwanda and Karongi district. It’s a 29 months project which will be implemented in Mutuntu, Rugabano, Rwankuba and Gashari sectors. It aims to improve access and management of water and other natural resources for decent survival and good health to the most vulnerable families in the target sectors.
Tube Aheza, Amazi Hafi field officers shared updates on the implementation of the project.They informed the audience that adequate water infrastructure and sustainable management capacity are provided to vulnerable populations in the Gashari and Mutuntu sectors for better access to water. Under this result, with the help of the GeoCodis company, the project staff and local communities were trained on the rational use of water infrastructures and the protection of the environment. 29 smartphones were handed over to the young group representatives to facilitate communication on matters related to water infrastructures.
The officers also informed the attendees that from June 2022, the project will mobilise the community to contribute regularly toward the maintenance of the water infrastructures. The project targets the monthly contributions of 13,150 citizens who benefit from such infrastructures.
The meeting participants appreciated the fact that citizens from the Gashari, Rwankuba, Rugabano and Mutuntu sectors will have access to financial services. Hence, in May 2021, youth and adult saving groups from the four sectors were established. 70% of these groups are women. Saving groups were trained in August last year on saving and lending methodology and were provided with a saving kit made of register books, notebooks, saving boxes and saving booklets. In January 2022, the project saving and lending groups were trained on writing a business plan and Income Generating Activities (IGA). The project envisages liaising these groups with the local microfinance institutions to ease processes toward obtaining loans.
The audience was as well updated that most Vulnerable People Improved their agro-pastoral practices toward a Sustainable Food Security and the project beneficiaries were trained on good agricultural practices through Farmer Field Learning School (FFLS). To improve soil fertility, the project beneficiaries were provided with small animals according to one’s preferences. The beneficiaries were as well given improved seeds and fruit trees of avocado, mango, lemon and orange under FFLS settings. Tube Aheza, Amazi Hafi Project will run in the not-too-distant future competition on WASH in the four sectors. The competition’s modalities are yet to be identified and indicators set.
One of the highlighted challenges faced during year one of the project’s implementation was the COVID-19. This was common and not a particularity to the project. Some of the delayed activities are currently being implemented.
Because of the growing number of complaints related to water infrastructure management, the district will facilitate communication and collaboration between RWASACO and the project staff as they all target the well-being of citizens.
Niragire Théophile, the Vice Mayor of Karongi district thanked the existing relationship between the Government and the Catholic Church and promised to continue building on the existing relationship to better serve the beneficiaries and citizens of the Karongi district at large toward improved well-being. He also thanked Caritas Rwanda for its close follow-ups and monitoring of all the groups of youth that the project accompanies and its daily support in supporting the livelihood of the Karongi district citizens. ‘’A healthy spirit lives in a healthy body, thus, Caritas and the district are to continue to cement their relationship and collaboration toward improving Karongi citizens’ quality of life’’. He said.
In his closing remarks, Father Safari Laurent, Caritas Nyundo/ Kibuye Director, acknowledged the district’s support in the project implementation and on behalf of the Caritas Rwanda Secretary General, thanked the participants and urged all to continue to build a holistic person, a person fully alive. Father Safari reassured the audience of Caritas Rwanda’s continued moral and social support to the project beneficiaries by engaging youth in development activities as these are the catalyst in the development and have wider horizons.