Umuganda is credited with contributing to Rwanda’s development, particularly in the areas of infrastructure development and environmental protection. Common infrastructure projects include roads (especially those connecting sectors), bridges, heath centres, classroom construction (to support the 9 and 12 Years of Basic Education programs), housing construction for poor and vulnerable Rwandans (often to replace grass-thatched housing) and the construction of local government offices and savings and credit cooperative buildings.
Environmental protection projects undertaken include tree planting and terracing to fight erosion, wetland rehabilitation, renewable energy construction and crop planting.
Monetary Value of Umuganda and Participation
The following table shows the estimates from the Ministry of Local Government of Umuganda participation and the value of the work undertaken from 2007 – 2010.
From 2007 – 2010, the activities valuated at 26,397,939,119 Rwf consisted mainly of the construction of houses for vulnerable people, roads, class rooms for the Nine Year Basic Education Programme(9YBE), health centres, public offices, tree planting, terracing and other infrastructures to protect against erosion. More information on this is available in the Umuganda Concept Note of 2010/2011 which can be downloaded here.
Below is the value of activities in the fiscal years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.
July 2010 - June 2011 Estimated Value of Umuganda andParticipation Rates
July 2011- June 2012 Estimated Value of Umuganda and Participation Rates
National Umuganda Competition
To measure the impact of Umuganda and encourage greater participation, the Government of Rwanda introduced the National Umuganda Competition in 2009. The aim of the competition is to create awareness of the best projects carried out, award communities that have completed good initiatives and to encourage communities to plan properly and maintain what they have achieved.
The competition includes all levels of Rwandan society – from the village up to the national level. The best activity in each district is awarded with a certificate and funding for future projects, and the best three projects in each province are awarded prizes. The best three projects from across Rwanda are awarded a cash prize of between US $1,500 and $2,300.
For the 2009/2010 competition, each province and the City of Kigali was awarded a prize.
- - City of Kigali: Kicukiro district was awarded 1,280,000 Rwf (US $2000) for the construction of classrooms as part of the 9 Years of Basic Education (9YBE) program.
- - Southern Province: Nyanza and Muhanga districts shared the prize; each receiving 640,000 Rwf (US $1000). Nyanza was recognised for its land use consolidation through planting 25 hectares of cassava. Muhanga was recognised for building a canal and pipe system for fresh water.
- - Northern Province: Burera district was awarded 1,280,000 Rwf (US $2000) for 8 hectares of radical terracing.
- - Western Province: Ngororero and Rutiso shared the prize; each receiving 640,000Rwfs (US $1000). Ngororero was recognised for the construction of a health centre in Mabuye cell, Sovu sector while Rutsiro was recoginsed for building a micro hydro electric plant in Kabona cell, Rusebeya sector.
- - Eastern Province: The award was for a health post constructed by the community of Bara village, in Rubimba cell, Kabare sector with a prize of 1,280,000 Rwf (US $2000).
1. First place went to a hydro power plant in Ngororero district, Kavumu sector. The project was initiated by the residents of Kavumu Sector and was completed with technical assistance from the Ministry of Infrastructure. The plant, which is located far from other sources of electricity, has benefited health centres, schools, businesses and created jobs in the community.
2. Second place went to a seven hectare pineapple plantation in Nyamagabe district, Musange sector, Jenda cell. This project has helped to tackle erosion and a cooperative has been set up to manage the harvesting of the crop and distribution of the benefits.
3. Third place went to a project whereby 37 houses were constructed for marginalised people in Gicumbi District, Manyagiro Sector. Families in the Sector have benefited greatly from the project and are better integrated into the community as a result.
1. First place went to the community from Kiruri in Nyanza District that built eleven offices for local villages. The community received a prize of Rwf 1,500,000 (US $2300).
2. Second place went to a community from Rwimishinya in Kayonza District that constructed a five kilometre road. The community received a prize of Rwf 1,200,000 (US $1,800).
3. Third place was awarded to the communities of Nkomane, Mahoko, Karambo and Rusongati in Rubavu District that built 4 offices for local government at the cell level. The community received a prize of Rwf 1,000,000 (US $1,500).
Reconciliation and Unity
Umuganda is also credited with assisting in reconciliation and peace building in Rwanda. This is because neighbours are brought together to build their community and have the opportunity to discuss problems and solve them collectively.