Umuganda back after 2-year break as Covid cases drop

Friday April 08 2022
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The March 29 Umuganda in Kigali dubbed Global Umuganda. Picture: Cyril Ndegeya

By Xinhua

The monthly community work Umuganda has returned after significant decline in Covid-19 infections. About 1,500 people gathered at Bumbogo in Kigali to clear bushes, drainage channels and to sweep the streets during community work.

"We have here about 1,500 people that have attended Umuganda, including officials from different entities and organs. The population is much excited to participate in Umuganda," Pudence Rubingisa, mayor of Kigali City said.

He said people were affected by the pandemic and large gatherings like community work could not be organised.

"People are excited to participate in the traditional Umuganda that has been there for quite long as one of our home grown solutions. They are excited to participate in the reconstruction of the Kigali City like cleaning and mitigating climate change," said Mr Rubingisa.

According to Mr Rubingisa, during the community work, they participated in curbing consequences of the heavy rains the country experienced over the past couple of weeks by clearing water drainage channels and trenches.

Noel Nshimiyimana, one of the residents of Bumbogo, said he was happy to participate in Umuganda again after such a long time.


"Umuganda is a good initiative that is important to our community development and our country," said.

Vanessa Umutoni, another Bumbogo resident, said Umuganda is a a good initiative for Rwandan community because it contributes to improving and protecting the environment.

"I am very happy to be here and many people have been able to participate," she said. "I think over the next couple of months, it is going to be better."

"Despite what Covid-19 had done to Rwandan community over the last two years, it doesn't change the fact that we are still committed to thrive and to also improve our country together. Umuganda shows community development, partnership and togetherness," said Ms Umutoni.

Rwanda has witnessed a fall in Covid-19 infections since the beginning of 2022. Taking root from Rwandan culture of self-help and cooperation, Umuganda, held on the last Saturday of each month, can be translated as "coming together in common purpose to achieve an outcome," according to Rwanda Governance Board.

In 1998, the Rwandan government reintroduced Umuganda as part of efforts to rebuild the country after the 1994 Rwandan genocide against Tutsi.