One of the very many community development activities that Rwanda National Police (RNP) is currently engaged in as part of the ‘Police Week 2017’, is to connect at least one Village with solar home systems, in each of the 30 districts across the country.
On Friday, Kirebe Village in Rwimiyaga Sector, Nyagatare District, and Cyabuti Village of Suti Cell, Mugano Sector in Nyamagabe District were added to the growing number of households that have so far been connected since the RNP’s 17th anniversary activities were officially launched on May 16.
At least 103 homes in Kirebe and 93 others in Cyabuti were connected with solar energy.
One of the beneficiaries of Kirebe, Emmanuel Manirakiza, who owns a small shop in the area, couldn’t hide his joy saying that life and business have changed since the Village was connected with solar energy.
“I operate a boutique and I couldn’t exceed 7pm before closing; but ever since police officers came to our village and started connecting every house, a lot changed about my business and social lifestyle. Now I operate up to 11pm because clients are still coming,” said Manirakiza.
He emphasized that, not only his business has grown but also his personal life and that of the village has changed as well.
“I used to walk for two hours to get to where I can charge my cell phone. This is no longer the case. I have even bought a Smartphone since my house was connected because this time I don’t have to worry about the battery doing down in a few hours.”
“Our village is very thrilled by this social support; we now walk freely at night because there is a lit bulb at every home; crimes committed in the dark like theft or assault have also reduced tremendously,” he added.
amali Nyirahabimana, a 47-year old mother of seven from the same Village, also shared the same excitement.
She says that before getting a solar power system, her children, who are all in school struggled to revise at night.
“My children could do revision using candles; in most cases they could be disrupted because the same candle would also be used in the kitchen to prepare dinner for them. Today, they are revising and doing homework from the comfort of the living room freely without being disrupted,” Nyirahabimana said.
The benefits are also echoed by students like Jeanne Niyoniringiye, primary six at Gakagati Primary School and preparing for her final national exams.
“I thank the Head of State for this; I believe this could not have been achieved without his involvement. Solar energy system gives me confidence that I will perform well and make it to high school since I can revise well at any time of the night,” Niyoniringiye said.
The Minister of Infrastructure, James Musoni, who officiated at the official inauguration of the solar systems in Nyagatare, urged beneficiaries to ensure they make the solar energy systems beneficial to their welfare and pledged the country’s continued support to advance the social wellbeing of its citizens.
He attributed the achievements including the rollout of solar power systems to the good leadership under President Paul Kagame.
The event was also attended by the Governor of Eastern Province, Judith Kazayire and the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, among others.
Governor Kazayire hailed activities of Police Week and pledge to ensure that residents handle the solar energy systems with caution.
On his part, IGP Gasana assured Kirebe residents of total security and urged them to feel safe and reassured while performing their daily activities.
“Through continued Police-Public partnership and collaboration, we can make Rwanda a crime free country,” said the Police Chief.
In Nyamagabe, the Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIGP) in charge of Administration and Personnel, Juvenal Marizamunda, who presided over the handover of solar energy, thanked the residents for their role in fighting and preventing crimes, and urged them to carry on with the spirit of ensuring that their villages are free from any crime.
Present was also the mayor of Nyamagabe, Philbert Mugisha.
Equally, residents of Nyamagabe also praised their country’s leadership for always thinking about them.
Innocent Mukeshimana, said: “In previous regimes, there was no link between the public and security organs and police in particular; but in the last 17 years, we have witnessed how police has come down to us, the people to involve and work with us to make our communities and the country safe and secure, but also supporting our development activities.”
In both sites, Police joined residents in Umuganda to rehabilitate roads, water channels and to renovate houses for the disadvantaged families.