Rwanda: Cimerwa joins citizens of Umuganda as community service returns

Cimerwa cement company personnel participated in the Umuganda exercise which resumed on Saturday March 26 in Gahanga sector, Kicukiro district.

After two years of suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the exercise was resumed by citizens with the participation of Cimerwa staff as they celebrated International Masons Week.

During the ongoing Masons Week celebration, the local cement company will also facilitate the construction of several houses for vulnerable communities in Kigali City, as part of its corporate social responsibility.

This will be done in partnership with the Syndicate of Construction and Masonry Companies of Rwanda (STECOMA).

Jean Yves Bayingana, commercial and marketing director of Cimerwa, told The New Times that they had come to empower citizens to participate in Umuganda after the resumption of monthly community service.

“We have come to empower local citizens to participate in this exercise as it resumes, and to keep them in mind that we need to overcome the pandemic and let life return to normal,” he said. commented.

Umuganda resumed after two years, but it was supposed to start last month but it was postponed by different activities scheduled for the previous weekends like the Tour of Rwanda among others, which led to the exercise being held in other provinces outside Kigali.

Umuganda is a community exercise held every last Saturday of the month where residents come together and undertake clean-up activities in their neighborhoods and find time to talk about critical issues affecting their daily lives.

Some of the sites visited by The New Times on Saturday include Gahanga sector in Karembure cell.

Residents were excited to see the resumption of the exercise, which is seen as an opportunity to clean up their neighborhood and discuss critical issues affecting society.

During community work on Saturday, the Karembure community, with the help of Cimerwa staff, built hostels for the teachers of the Karembure model school.

Deputy Mayor of Kigali City in charge of infrastructure and urban planning, Merard Mpwabwanamaguru, urged residents to follow the initiative to clean up their neighborhood.

“As the community exercise resumes, we must maintain the initiative and take it as our own, not wait for government officials to always call us, but rather make it our own,” he told the community.

In other areas of the city such as Kanombe, the exercise focused on rehabilitating drainage routes that were destroyed by heavy rains.

“Our drainage ways had been damaged, because we had spent a long time without rehabilitating them, so the water was seeping into our houses and destroying them or blocking some roads in the neighborhood,” said Theogen Karasanyi, a resident of Karama cell in Kanombe. sector.

Kanombe sector executive secretary Idriss Nkurunziza also echoed the same views, saying residents were delighted with the takeover of this homemade solution.

“On behalf of the citizens, first of all, we are very happy to have overcome the Covid-19 pandemic and we are currently holding physical meetings, but you can also observe that the citizens seem excited and do not want end exercising very soon,” he repeated.

Umuganda was introduced in Rwanda in 2007 and suspended during the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It had resumed in other provinces outside the city of Kigali.

Jill E. Washington