The New Times (Kigali)

Rwanda: Nyamasheke Residents Ask for More Girinka Cows

Residents of Nyamasheke District have requested the government to increase cattle distribution under the One Cow per Poor Family (Girinka) programme so as to benefit more residents.

The residents who highly embraced the programme made the appeal during President Paul Kagame's visit to Nyamasheke District, yesterday.

So far 12,502 residents in the district have benefited from one cow per family out of which some 84.9 per cent were contributed by well wishers.

The Girinka Programme was launched by the President in 2006 with an aim of enabling every poor family own a cow.

The programme has since contributed hugely to poverty reduction and the fight against malnutrition.

Although Nyamasheke district has been one of the leading districts in social welfare of its residents, the people claim majority of them are yet to benefit from the cattle programme.

Gaspard Harerimana, from Nyamiyaga village, Miko Cell, Karengera Sector said, "We are requesting the President to give us cows, we also want to benefit. The programme has benefited a few people and there are many more who would want to benefit."

Another resident, Alex Bihoyiki told The New Times that the cattle stocking programme has contributed to rural development in many areas and would as well benefit their area.

"With a cow, someone's life improves automatically. Although we all want to benefit from this programme, we have to consider the authorities who are considering the poorest first although our request is that we all benefit in the long run," said Bihoyiki.

Emmanuel Bahati another resident praised Girinka but said there is need to improve the distribution.

Speaking to The New Times, Charles Bahizi, Nyamasheke Vice Mayor said the Girinka Programme is still ongoing in the district and that more people are expected to benefit.

"For those who have not benefited yet, we have a plan of giving them cows. We have partners we are working with to give cows to people, and we hope by the end of this year majority would have benefited," said Bahizi.

During President Kagame's visit to Nyamashake, residents who spoke to The New Times said that some of the key concerns they have include lack of electricity in some parts and the construction of Ntendenzi-Bugarama road which they said is impassable.

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