Rwanda National Police peacekeepers serving under the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) over the weekend upheld Umuganda as a different approach to maintenance of law and order and providing security to communities in Haiti.
Chief Superintendent Peter Hodari, who observed that community work has impacted development in Rwanda, said there is also need to encourage people in Haiti to emulate it and to solve their problems jointly.
The peacekeepers have continued to involve in various activities in the reconstruction of the Caribbean nations.
On August 31, 2013, the officers under the Rwanda Formed Police Unit (RWAFPU) constructed and rehabilitated water channels in the town of Jeremie to prevent soil erosion and road degradation.
Mr. Ronald, a local official from Jeremie commended RWAFPU for going beyond its mandate to support Haitians and becoming a friendly force to the public.
The deed falls under the framework of community policing, done every month by Police officers in mission, to help the communities.
“RWAFPU mission in Haiti is to stabilize this devastated country in terms of security and economic development, “Chief Superintendent Hodari explained.
“Our mandate goes beyond Peace support operations. We also participate in developmental activities to ensure that the people of Haiti are stable,” he added.
In Rwanda, Umuganda meaning community service is a mandatory community service day from 8:00am to 11:00am, on the last Saturday of each month.
The day is called umunsi w’umuganda, meaning “contribution made by the community which is designed to be a day of contribution and building the country by citizens themselves.
By law all able bodied persons above the age of 18 and below 65 are expected to participate in volunteer community work. The start of this practice goes back to colonial times and is still practiced today.