African cities, towns and shopping centers are growing rapidly, however, hygiene and sanitation is questionable whereby people’s health is affected due to the poor collection, treatment, transportation, storage, and eventual disposal of waste. The prevailing increase in the level of urbanization in Africa is expected to continue in the future.
RDIS organization is therefore currently implementing a “Waste Management for Environmental Safeguard” project in Rwanda. The beneficiaries of the project are Church’s training centers, guest houses, schools and health centers. Special training is given to managers and personnel of these institutions and people, especially the youth, who are likely to influence others with knowledge and skills about waste management. Special waste bins and policies are distributed to these institutions.
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The Anglican Church of Rwanda, dioceses of Butare, Cyangugu, Kigeme and Shyogwe via the Rural Development Inter-diocesan Service(RDIS) in collaboration with Eglise Presbyterienne au Rwanda (EPR) have recently started to jointly implement a pilot phase for a project for supplying ‘Solar Home Systems’ in Off-grid areas in their repsective Churches.
The two UEM member Churches are thus implementing an environmental protection project by investing in renewable energy sources (Solar Home Systems) in cooperation with ONE-FOR-THE-CLIMATE, whereby the invested capital will have to paid back.
In Africa around 500 million people do not have access to energy. They are not connected to the electricity grid. They often use kerosene for firewood lighting and cooking. Around 1 million people in Africa die by indoor pollution every year - mainly women and children.
In Rwanda itself 40.5 % of the population have access to energy as shown by the Energy Group Report of August 2017. On-grid access representing 29.5% and off-grid access representing 11%. Most of the country’s electricity comes from hydropower; solar power produces over 7% of electricity in the country.
This lack of electricity contributes greatly in the development of the country in general and households in particular. The populations who live far from the existing grid lines are often confronted with major problems like:
The Rwandan government has demonstrated its willingness to supply electricity to a large part of population, but its efforts require the support from other stakeholders in this area. Churches can play a crucial role because of their wide spread network and communities.
From 24th to 26th January 2018, two senior staff members of RDIS went for a field visit in the area of the Anglican Church of Rwanda, Cyangugu diocese. As one can see in the few pictures below, all ongoing projects in this area are running well thanks to the good work of local RDIS staff members, stakeholders and the excellent leadership of the diocese.
Since many years ago RDIS is collaborating with government leadership especially at local levels (District, Sectors, Cells and Villages) in establishing, running and managing tree nurseries, which reach nearly half of the population of Rwanda from Gitarama (RDIS headquarter) to Cyangugu, i.e. the wide area of Southern and Western Provinces. This project is in line with the mission of RDIS organisation of safeguarding the environment and increasing production for sustainable and holistic development of the communities.
The tree nursery project produces tree seedlings, which are distributed freely to community members and institutions in the area. This successful project is implemented by RDIS organisation with support from Rwanda Aid.
By the end of December 2017 the project had distributed and aided to plant 200,000 tree seedlings for fruit and agro-forestry. Each tree nursery bed had 25,000 seedlings for agro-forestry, i.e. forestry and fruit trees.
A group picture with Ms Alison Wright and some staff members of Rwanda Aid
I cannot thank you enough for the work and accomplishments and achievements we got this year. Thank you all for your contributions!
In this year, we thought it would be ideal to share with you some of our accomplishments by this means - email and website. But more importantly, knowing that we are getting close to the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your families a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!
We have achieved a great deal despite of some challenges.
Among the major issues that challenge the environment in Rwanda is the wide use of open firewood stoves for cooking and for boiling drinking water. Similarly, the hunting, cutting, fetching and carrying of the tree logs and branches by man primarily living in rural communities have caused increasing deforestation despite the RDIS’s forestation and tree planting efforts. While the entire process is useful to enable households to have food on table, RDIS decided to come up with a project that would enable the local communities to continue using firewood for cooking in a sustainable and ecologically friendly way. This means we had to find an innovative solution of reducing the problem while promoting peoples welfare and standards of living. The only way to go was therefore to initiate Climate Change mitigation projects. Hence the planning and implementation of this project under the name: Carbon Emission Reduction for Self-sustainable Environmental Care Project (CCER).
The Rural Development Interdiocesan Service (RDIS) with registration No. 13/RGB/NGO/2015 is an organization for promoting sustainable development in four dioceses of the Anglican Church of Rwanda: Butare, Cyangugu, Kigeme and Shyogwe. We do this by mobilizing the local church members to be involved in developing their local community, and so lifting themselves out of poverty.
The project’s coordination office is currently based in Shyogwe Diocese a few kilometers from Gitarama town in central Rwanda. RDIS’ activities are concentrated in the centre and the south-western part of the country where the four dioceses are located, serving nearly half of the Rwandan population. S.a. Organisational structure.
The project can be traced back to 1991 when three other dioceses were carved out of the then Butare Diocese from which the Rural Development Service, which had started in the 1960s, became an Inter-Diocesan Service, currently called RDIS.
The activities were disrupted by the 1994 genocide which caused massive destruction on RDIS’ project, taking the lives of many people including the then project coordinator and leaving behind formidable challenges: nearly half a million orphans, 1 in 4 women being widowed, and poverty being increased in many families.
The project operations were re-launched in 1995 following a meeting by the dioceses’ management under the present name of Rural Development Inter-Diocesan Service and a team of development workers started working from scratch.
Vision: A Holy Soul in a Healthy Body.
Mission: To safeguard environment, increase the production aiming at sustainable and holistic development