The Rwandan High Commission has launched the “Umuganda in Kiryanrwanda”-a sanitation campaign in Accra in line with Government’s “Operation Clean your frontage” campaign.
“Umuganda in Kiryanrwanda” means “coming together for a common purpose,” in Rwanda.
It is a concept that encourages a nationwide cleaning on the last Saturday of every month in Rwanda, post the genocide.
Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira, the Rwandan High Commissioner to Ghana, addressing a gathering of diplomats, Ghanaian-based Rwandan community and some locals, said the initiative was to promote positive and healthy cohesion and interaction among individuals and communities in Ghana through clean up exercises.
She said it was expected that the campaign would strengthen peace and unity, a cultural value that helped in the rebuilding and recovery of Rwanda after the devastating effect of the genocide.
“Before the colonial era, it was used as a concept in, which communities were summoned for gatherings of various kinds,” Dr Kacyira said, and optimistic that it would help change the sanitation narrative of the country.
Madam Claudia Turbay Quintero, Dean of Diplomatic Corps and Columbian Ambassador to Ghana, reiterated how initiatives such as the “Umuganda” had helped put Rwanda in the positive light among the community of Nations, something that Ghana and the rest of the developed and underdeveloped world needed to emulate.
Madam Sandra Owusu Ahinkorah, Municipal Chief Executive of Ayawaso West Municipal Assembly, applauded the initiative, saying the concept fell in line with the President’s efforts to make Accra the cleanest city in Africa and pledged the Assembly’s support.
The launch, organised in partnership with the Ministry of Sanitation, Ayawaso west Municipal Assembly, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, UNFPA, was used by members of the Rwandan community in the country to plant trees, desilt gutters, sweep the street sides and clear overgrown weeds.
Some special tree species were planted to commemorate the start of the campaign.
“Umuganda” as practised by Rwandans, compels people from age 18 to 65, to participate in a monthly clean up exercise, with non-compliance attracting a fine.
The initiative, which was reintroduced after the end of the genocide, is credited with the considerable improvement in sanitation in Rwanda, earning it an enviable title as Africa’s cleanest country