RDO through RCCDN organized a three-day-training of trainers for Rwandan’s Civil Societies on climate change issues to better serve the community diligently.

9 Jul 2018
Not only in Rwanda or in the region, climate change issues consist of a global issue that deserves much attention as a number of people are facing effects of disasters resulted from the issue. Civil societies say the issue should be addressed through joint efforts and improved policies and citizen’s mobilization about the climate change, its cause and mitigation strategies to avoid its side effects on human beings, environment and livestock.


In March 2018, disasters include floods left a number of damaged crops and infrastructures such as roads and bridges as well as the loss of lives of people and livestock. All of them are the effects of climate change occurred so far. Hunger crisis is also one of the effects of climate change as many African countries including Rwanda are now facing crop diseases and prolonged drought during the sun season.
During a three-day-training of trainers for Rwandan’s Civil Societies in Kayonza from 26-29th June 2018, about 50 NGOs’ representatives were trained to train their members on climate change issues to better serve the community diligently.



Vuningoma Faustin RCCDN Coordinator

Faustin Vuningoma, Coordinator of Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network (RCCDN), a local network consisting of Civil Society Organisations operating in climate change sector which has organized capacity building workshop for member organizations said that there is a hope that climate change issues will be gradually addressed.
“Our hope is that as a global concern, we are pushing for adaptation mechanisms because we do not have a lot of emissions that Rwanda emits to the space and we did not talk much about mitigation at our level. We focus on what can be adaptation measures that can make our people be able to adapt to the climate change effects. So, we are engaging not only national level but also we try to engage continental level as we are members of Pan African climate change alliance,” said Vuningoma
Lilian Umukunzi, one of the trainees from Rwanda Association of Ecologists said she learnt a lot to share with her community members in mitigating climate change effects.
“We have learnt a lot including how we can help the community in mitigating such issues, and I, personally have learnt how I will train my community members and other colleagues and make them aware of climate change effects and adaptation strategies,” Umukunzi noted.



Civil society organization representatives during the training

Dr John Musemakweri, a consultant in climate change issues said it is better for civil societies advocating for climate change issues to know related terminologies, policies and be involved in environmental impact assessment after being aware of what climate change is, its causes so that they take mitigation measures to help the government reduce its effects.
“All activities of NGOs should be in line with climate change advocacy. For example, in agriculture, NGOs should be closer the community to help identify the crops that resist to climate change. The efforts are there and what is needed is coordination” said Musemakweri.
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Considerable improvement: RDO celebrates Rwanda’s Rwf 2,443 billion budget

21 Jun 2018
As Rwanda launched the budget 2018/19, Rwanda Development Organization (RDO), one of the civil society organizations working in Rwanda, has said it has realized that there is an improvement in the country’s journey to finance its own budget, a development that deserves celebration.
RDO appreciates the tremendous increase of the national budget and domestic performance since three years ago (2015-2018) where imports for instance got an increase of 5.6 percent.
The current fiscal year budget 2018/19 which is $2.8 billion (over $2,443 billion) is bigger than the previous one of 2017/18 of over $2,094 billion.
“We are reducing tremendously the dependency of external financing,” said RDO official, Alexis Nkurunziza.
Eugene Rwibasira, RDO-Executive Secretary said that it is a real time to celebrate the national budget that got an increase of 17% from 0% in 1994.



RDO Executive Secretary appreciated the national budget 2018-2019

“Why can’t we celebrate with the 17% increase from zero in 1994? Today with such $2.8 billion budget, poverty levels have reduced from 51% to 0ver 30 percent, why can’t we celebrate again? Rwanda has got a tremendous improvement in infrastructures and fastest growing economy. This is different from the past where people understood Genocide when you say Rwanda, today when you say Rwanda people understand the cleanest city Kigali, the strongest man Kagame,” said Rwibasira.
He added “we are celebrating that we have come from hell to the ever good place where we feel proud to be said by others. We should not that celebrating the budget is not only saying the figures, but what the figures helped to achieve,”



Government officials and CSOs representatives attended celebrations

RDO has come the first Civil society to celebrate the budget countrywide and wishes to continue doing it every year.
“I wish to see this culture of celebrating the budget sustainable, remembering every year where we have come from and where we are heading to,” Rwibasira noted.
In their mandate, RDO through voice for change project wanted to see the budget in fighting stunting and when a citizen achieved a lot, he/she must celebrate,” he said.
“One of our targets is to increase budget in nutrition sensitive and the budget of fighting stunting also increased,” Rwibasira said.
Currently, stunting stands around 36 percent from over 50 percent in the past. The country targets to reduce it at 15% by 2024.
RDO and other civil society organizations contribute to the budget call circular, sharing their ideas for government concern in planning and implementing the budget.
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Together with other Rwandans, RDO staff joined in an activity to remember victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

16 May 2018
Members of the Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) rendered visit 21 widows of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi living in the Gahengeri sector located in Rwamagana district of the country’s Eastern province. RDO had brought along a collective donation to support these widows in their daily needs, especially in terms of health and nutrition.


RDO Executive Secretary giving his remarks

During this visit, we were welcomed by the local authorities in the area including the district vice mayors of the social and economic affairs at the district level, and the sector’s executive secretary. In addition to these welcoming remarks from local authorities.

RDO Executive Secretary and Programs Officer giving some donations to one of 1994 Genocide against Tutsi victims

RDO also received an appreciation gift from the widows as they thanked the organization members for bringing them support in this period of mourning when they needed it most.


Rwamagana Economic Vice-Mayor and RDO Executive Secretary receiving an appreciation gift from widows of Gahengeri Sector
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A new small-scale solar irrigation project was unveiled.

26 Apr 2018
A new project aimed at developing small-scale solar irrigation in Rwanda with the target to increase farmers’ productivity and the country’s food security was unveiled.

In partnership with Energy 4 Impact, Rwanda Development Organization - RDO is going to implement a Small-scale irrigation project that has the potential to contribute to improved food security and higher rural incomes.



Team from Energy 4 Impact, Dr. Charles MUREKEZI DG of MINAGRI and RWIBASIRA ES of RDO during the project launch

Given Rwanda’s geography and its solar radiation potential, the density of cultivated land and the availability of water resources, solar irrigation can enable smallholder farmers to use the water sources more productively, adapt to climate change and improve nutritional outcomes and rural development.

The project will be implemented in eight districts in Eastern and Southern Provinces namely Bugesera, Kirehe, Nyagatare, Ngoma, Gatsibo, Gisagara, Kamonyi and Muhanga
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A Dialogue on seed and fertilizer distribution in Rwanda was hosted by RDO in Lemigo Hotel

26 Apr 2018
In partnership with USAID and TROCAIRE, RDO through its project called “Enhancing Participatory Governance and Accountability-EPGA” organized a dialogue on seed and fertilizer distribution in Rwanda. Various participants attended the workshop namely: Director General in MINAGRI (Dr. Murekezi), Country Director of TROCAIRE, Civil Society Organizations, Private Sector Organizations/Agro-dealers and Farmer cooperatives.



Group photo of participants

During his opening remarks RDO Executive secretary Mr. Eugene Rwibasira, He mentioned survey studies conducted by EPGA in partnership with RDO in order to detect the issues present in distribution of hybrid seeds and fertilizers to farmers. Hence organizing this workshop inviting various stakeholders to discuss the pertinent aspects in this domain of Agriculture.



DG of MINAGRI Dr Charles MUREKEZI reacting on different ideas during the dialogue

Guest of Honor opening remarks referenced statistical data relevant to the field, he stated that Agriculture is a great contributor towards Rwandan Economy, currently contributing about 33% of the country’s GDP. He also mentioned government programs put into place to boost agriculture production and productivity. It is also the beginning era of Crop Intensification Program (CIP) in African nations.
Finally, the DG of MINAGRI concluded his opening remarks by thanking organizers of this dialogue and encouraged similar initiatives to be planned and discuss pertinent topics/issues in the Agriculture sector that need additional action plans to be developed.



Mr Alexis NKURUNZIZA EPGA Coordinator explains the goal of the Dialogue

He mentioned that the goal of this EPGA_RDO initiative is to raise awareness and mobilize farmers. Also, presented a video on Farmers’ experience and outlook on seed and fertilizer distribution (challenges met, determinants affecting the effectiveness of seed and fertilizer distribution)



Several recommendations were drawn from the discussions, some are the following:

• To the issue of lacking sufficient seed multiplying companies to decentralize the process of seed distribution, they recommended that there should be allocated a private sector specialized in local hybrid seed production

• Sustainable seed multiplication programs, that do not rely on temporary projects that would end and terminate those seed multiplication strategies.

• Organizing workshops at district levels with the concerned/primary stakeholders; that is: Farmers and Private sector (JAF, local Food security commitees, etc).
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RDO launched RCCDN (Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network) strategic plan of 2018-2022.

20 Apr 2018
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At Kigali Marriott Hotel, Rwanda Development Organization launched RCCDN (Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network) strategic plan of 2018-2022.

The RCCDN strategic Plan launching were organized on the 27th February 2018 at Marriott Hotel. That ceremony brought together 76 participants with 52 men and 14 women including the national representation by Ms. Juliet KABERA, Director General of MINIRENA, the Country director and Programs Officer of TROCAIRE which is the donor, Mr. BIDERI John, the chairperson of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA), Mr. RWIBASIRA Eugene, the Executive Secretary of RDO and RCCDN chairperson. There were also different invitees such as: International Non-Government Organizations, RCCDN members and other stakeholders which have the engagement in climate change adaptation and mitigation through different actions and programmes.



Mr. RWIBASIRA Eugene, the Executive Secretary of RDO and RCCDN chairperson giving opening remarks

The RCCDN strategic plan 2018-2022 as supported by RDO and Funded by TROCAIRE were presented to participants.
Its vision is: “Communities capable of coping with national and global climate change challenges for sustainable development.” The Mission is: “To be a lead network in Rwanda that advocates and build capacities for community resilience to climate change, justice and equitable development.”



Mr. BIDERI John, the chairperson of Pan African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA)



Participants significantly attended RCCDN launch

RCCDN has different Organs: The General Assembly, the Board Members, the Audit Committee, the Conflict Resolution Committee and the Secretariat, Participants also discussed on the institutional framework which includes the institutional arrangement, the communication, the human resource management, resource mobilization, the accountability, monitoring and evaluation and risk management.



TROCAIRE Country Director Dony Mazingaizo speaks during RCCDN launch
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RDO organized the first Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network General assembly, that brought together fifty-five participants.

3 Jan 2018
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RWANDA CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT NETWORK GENERAL ASSEMBLY WORKSHOP



Elected Board and Audit Committee Members, Chairperson of the Board in the exact middle.

1. Introduction

Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) organized the first Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network General assembly, that brought together fifty-five participants. The meeting was meant to agree on the network’s constitution and adopt it. It was also meant to contribute to the development of the network’s strategic plan 2018-2022.

In his Opening remarks the Executive Secretary of RDO, Mr. Rwibasira Eugene, reminded the participants on how the idea of establishing the Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network came about. He thanked TROCAIRE for the support given through RDO as the host organization to establish and strengthen the network. He introduced the Assistant Coordinator, of the network Donatha Nibagwire who was recruited to support the network Coordinator. He wished all participants fruitful deliberations as they discuss on the constitution and the strategic plan, and the elections of the Board of Directors, Audit and Conflict Resolution Committees.

2. Workshop Objectives

I. To put in place a legal binding document (constitution) that shall guide the operations, leadership and management of the RCCDN
II. To consult Founder Members to input into the network’s strategic plan 2018-2022
III. To agree on leadership structures of the network and elect office bearers

3. Meeting proceedings

After opening remarks made by the RDO Executive Secretary, the Coordinator made a presentation of the constitution. The draft constitution had been distributed three weeks in advance and members had enough time to go through it. After the presentation, participants started discussing and agreeing article by article. All articles were agreed on and the constitution adopted. The network’s logo was also adopted after analyzing the three samples that were presented.

   
Participants expressed their insights and thoughts

After adoption of the constitution, the next item on the programme was to elect office bearers. This agenda item was shifted and made the last programme item to be carried out after making contributions to the strategic plan.
The consultant working on the development of the strategic plan made a presentation before participants broke out into three working groups to generate viable input into the network’s strategy. The groups later made presentations before the plenary and discussions went on to ensure effective contributions. All the contributions were submitted to the consultant who was tasked to integrate them into the strategic plan. The consultant was advised to do further consultations with other stakeholders including government institutions and development partners.
Participants in the General Assembly agreed that the Consultant Gasafari Mpabuka Willy be the returning officer. Two among the participants who were not eligible to vote were also requested to support the returning officer. Voting was conducted by secret ballot as per the adopted constitution. Nominated candidates were given time to confirm their nomination and willingness to serve.

4. Workshop outcomes

a) 48 Founder Member Organizations present at the General Assembly Meeting adopted the Rwanda Climate Change and Development Network constitution. Serious discussions focused on the name of the network, its vision, mission, objectives and core business among other things.
b) Members present at the GA made incredible contributions to the network strategy 2018-2022.
c) All office bearers were elected in an open, transparent, free and fair elections

Workshop evaluation

The GA meeting participants expressed satisfaction with the arrangements of the meeting. They appreciated the role played by RDO as the initiator and TROCAIRE as the funding partner. They were happy that the meeting set objectives and outcomes were all met and drew recommendations that should be worked on.

Recommendations

The following recommendations were made:
i. That the legal registration process of RCCDN commence with immediate effect.
ii. That the consultation process with other stakeholders in the SP development continue
iii. That the Strategic Plan be subjected to review by the Steering Committee members and two additional members appointed.
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RDO participated and contributed in the Community work organized by Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) to fight Fall Army Worm (FAW) in Rwamagana.

3 Jan 2018
RDO participated and contributed in the Community work organized by Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) to fight Fall Army Worm (FAW) in Rwamagana.


WFP as one of our partners participated in the activity

Farm to Market Alliance (FtMA) that promotes the establishment of sustainable pro-smallholders agricultural value chains with the aim of increasing smallholder farmer income and fostering commercial viability for private sector actors engaged in the Alliance. The organization is supporting farmers under the Alliance as a Cooperating partner of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).
Fall Army Worm has overwhelmed crops across many countries including Rwanda,
Friday, on 10th November 2017 in Gaseke marchland located in Mwurire sector, Rwamagana District, cooperatives members, neighboring farmers and local authorities with RDO, RWARRI, WFP, FAO and RAB representatives participated in special community work (Umuganda) to fight Fall Army Worm (FAW).


RDO field staff significantly participated in the activity

The event was exceptional because when you compare to the previous organized community works, everywhere the idea was to apply pesticides but this time another approach of hand picking was introduced. The event had the following objectives:
• To increase knowledge of FtMA-team on FAW outbreak;
• To test friendly environmental approach to fight FAW;
• To show our solidarity to cooperatives partners in the battle of fighting FAW
The attendance was good since more than 1 hectare was cleared by 80 participants in 2 hours only. This fact shows that the exercise can be adopted and used by farmers in their respective fields to fight FAW;& nbsp;



During discussion with farmers they said that worms hand pick up’s approach is effective than using chemical because when pesticides are used there are some worms who escape, resist or slipup in the leaves. Via pick up worms by hand you are sure that they are wrecked definitely;
In the field we realized that the contamination incidence was more than 80%, this is alarming situation because in 2 weeks ago they applied pesticides, which weighty the idea to combine every time two approaches.
Suggestions or recommendations:
• After testing the approach and testified the success, it recommendable to combine both hand picking and spraying.
• Looking how RAB representatives were excited by the activity, we need to involve them more as they promised their support where it will be needed. Field officers in their zones can ask support to the RAB representatives when is needed.
Fall-army-worm faced Eastern Province farms since 2016 in some districts such as ; Ngoma , Kayonza, Kirehe,Gatsibo,Nyagatare ,Bugesera and Rwamagana as well.
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2018 A Season Pre-planting Meeting of Farm To Market Alliance (FtMA) Farmer Cooperaatives.

26 Sep 2017
Rwanda Development Organization (RDO) in conjunction with World Food Program (WFP) is implementing FTMA (Farm To Market Alliance) formerly known as the Patient Procurement Platform -PPP, an initiative of the UN World Food Programme (WFP), AGRA and associated partners in support of market access for smallholder farmers. FTMA’s goal is to establish pro-smallholder agricultural value chains in partnership with public and private off-takers, credit and input providers and other commercial actors. It is against this background that RDO, WFP, AGRA and other partners organized a meeting for season 2018 A pre planting of all FATMA farmer cooperatives across the country, the meeting held on July 27th, 2017 at Hilltop Hotel.



From left to right: Saori KITAJIMA-WFP/FtMA, Eugene RWIBASIRA-ES RDO, Dr MUREKEZI-MINAGRI

Institutions participated are:
WFP, AGRA, Minagri, RDO, RWARRI, Private sector/Buyers (AIF, EAX, SARURA, EUCORD/PRODEV, RGCC), Media (The NewtTimes and umuseke.rw), ICCO-TERAFINA, All 2018A FTMA Farmer organizations
Introduction
The introduction and welcome remarks was given by the Executive Secretary of RDO, Eugene RWIBASIRA. He start by thanking all participants for giving priority to this important meeting, He then continues by explaining a little bit about FTMA project, He emphasized that FTMA is there to support farmers to have access to sustainable markets. He winded up by encouraging farmers to be motivated and to be brave and leave behind old mind-sets and grab the opportunities around them as the government of Rwanda is trying to build the capacity of all Rwandans especially farmers through good and innovative agricultural policies. He mentioned “let this meeting be an opportunity to all of us to make a sound plan of 2018 A.”



RDO’ Executive Secretary, Eugene RWIBASIRA welcoming the participants

On behalf of AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), Anthony NGOSI in charge of Business Development and Strategic Partnerships was on board. He thank Dr MUREKEZI from Minagri for sacrifying his limited time and attend this meeting, He thank the Government of Rwanda for its good policies that help agriculture to improve. He argues that FTMA is one of the important projects that AGRA is counting on to have a good impact on farmers and Africans in general. He underlined that Rwanda is one of 11 countries they are proud to work with because is implementing well the program. He closed his speech by telling the farmers to keep on improving because they are not only feeding their families but also the whole nation.



Anthony NGOSI from AGRA during his speech

Ammar KAWASH, the coordinator of “Farm To Market Alliance” in Rwanda thanked RDO and RWARRI for preparing this meeting and bring on board different actors like Farmer organizations, Buyers, financial institution and other partners.
He added “we have right now 5 huge buyers (AIF, EAX, SARURA, PRODEV, RGCC) on board which is very important to all of us in the alliance, for the upcoming 2018A season, we want to build on the success we had in last 2017A season as we managed to have around 5000MT of aggregation and we have the target to reach 30,000 farmers during 2018A.”



Ammar KAWASH, the coordinator of “Farm To Market Alliance” in Rwanda

Ammar KAWASH, the coordinator of “Farm To Market Alliance” in Rwanda
Dr. MUREKEZI DG of Agriculture Development in MINAGRI, thank WFP and AGRA for bringing FTMA as a viable solution in terms of supporting farmers to have access to markets as it links farmers to buyers and financial institutions, He also said that the majority of Rwandan farmers have small land, to be able to supply sustainably to different markets it requires them to use improved agriculture practices in order to get high quantity and quality yield. It is in this regard that Government of Rwanda has put in place different policies like CIP, Rwanda Agricultural Extension Strategy, Postharvest handling and storage services.

 



Dr. MUREKEZI DG appreciating FtMA initiative

Dr MUREKEZI emphasized that we have to consider some challenges we faced in previous season like buyers who do not fulfil the contract terms, farmers who do sell produce to middlemen, the issue of aflatoxin so that we may work on it ahead of time.
He added that FTMA is mulching exactly the Government policies, He wish that the collaboration with the Government should be enforced and expand the program to other crops not only maize and beans. He concluded saying that Minagri is ready to support FTMA so that it can reach more than 30,000 farmers as the target looks.

Award giving
During last season FTMA has 81 cooperatives some of them did not perform their duties and they were eliminated e.g 8 cooperatives. This implies that during the coming 2018A season cooperatives will not only sign a contract with buyers but also with FTMA.





Cooperatives’ representatives receiving their awards

Only 26 cooperatives managed to deliver at least 90% of their commitment, out of 26, 6 cooperatives managed to deliver 50MT, there are also 7 cooperatives that managed to delive above 150% of their commitment.

This is how the prizes were distributed:
• All 26 cooperatives that delivered at least 90% of their commitment have been rewarded with a wheel barrow
• The 7 cooperatives that delivered 150% and more of their commitment will be rewarded with an extra of 5 tarpaulins.
• The 7 cooperatives that delivered at least 90% of their commitment and at least 50MT will be rewarded an extra of 5 tarpaulins.
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