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A bridge between communities and local authorities: Gakenke District, Rwanda

09 June 2016

As part of our ‘good governance’ programme in Rwanda, Trócaire works with citizens in four districts to ensure their voices are heard by local authorities. Our partners on the ground give training in citizens’ rights, public policies and how to engage with local authorities.

After being trained, members from Nemba Sector, Gakenke District made an action plan to develop their area. One of the actions was to construct a bridge over the river that separates Buranga and Mucaca, which was very difficult to cross, especially for small children going to or coming from school. 

Nyiransabimana Francoise with her child, a young villager crosses the new bridge

Left: Nyiransabimana Francoise with her young daughter. A schoolgirl crosses the new community-built bridge

Nyiransabimana Francoise, a community member with two school-aged children had concerns about the bridge:

“When it was during the rainy season, many parents including myself were scared and troubled by the rain because it was difficult to cross the river for students. I often went to the bridge with the help of some men who are strong enough to help me to carry my child while crossing the river.”

The community went to the local authority for assistance and received supplies and guidance to build a new safe bridge. 

Community meeting Mucaca to Buranga Village Bridge Project

Community meeting Mucaca to Buranga Village Bridge Project

Iragena Norbert, chairman of Kamuvunyi Village, commended the community led response to the issue:

“Citizens came to us to express their concerns in building the bridge and we had considered their priority. Together with them made it and children, women and other citizens will no longer use the river to go the market, church, school...”

By Christine Murekatete, Trócaire Rwanda

Learn more about Trócaire's governance and livelihoods work in Rwanda