Rwandan peacekeepers have exported Umuganda to Central Africa Republic (CAR) in order to encourage citizens rebuild their country
“Umuganda” is a community work, which brings together residents to work toward common good of their country.
It is one of the Home Grown Solutions, undertaken on the last Saturday of every month in Rwanda and a philosophy of all citizens participating in solving their problems together.
During the activity, the troops were joined by citizens of Socati and Bengewe localities in Bangui on 22 March 2014.
They cleaned and cleared bushes on the road around 5th and 8th Arrondissement, Bangui capital. The work done covered a distance
In a meeting after Umuganda, Lt Col J Paul Karangwa, Rwanda Mechanised Battalion (RwaMecBatt1) Contingent Commander in AU Forces deployed in Central Africa Republic, encouraged the citizens to embrace the introduced culture of Umuganda in their country.
“This is a regular voluntary community activity we do in our country. It serves us to build our nation and I encourage you to do the same. Thank you for your effort today, “ Karangwa said.
Lt Col Karangwa also urged the citizens to cooperate with Security Forces to bring stability in their country, “your contribution is key to build security in your country”, he told the citizens.
The participants of Umuganda thereafter socialised with RDF sharing Bread, in what is referred to in Rwanda as Ubusabane.
Residents could not believe Rwandan peacekeepers could come to clean up their neighbourhood.
“We had never seen Military holding hoes and spades to do cleaning”, commented citizens watching in awe, before turning in big numbers to join the RDF in Umuganda for the first time.
The Chief of Socati Locality, Philemon Laelang thanked the RDF Peacekeepers on behalf of the residents that participated in Umuganda.
It has been a tradition that Rwanda Peacekeepers introduce umuganda wherever they are deployed.
Umuganda has among others contributed to social-economic development and has made Kigali and Rwanda one of the cleanest cities and countries in the world.