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Activities to pave way for the 20th anniversary of the liberation struggle start today with the Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) and citizens taking part in a grand scheme to build 500 standard health posts in the country.

Brig Gen Nzabamwita
Brig Gen Nzabamwita Joseph 

National celebrations will be held on Liberation Day (July 4).

The Military and Defence spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita, said the first phase of the activities, dubbed ‘Kwibohora20,’ will see 44 health posts built during the annual Army Week, but the project would continue until all 500 units are completed by the end of the year.

“Army Week has transcended from being an entirely RDF activity to becoming a national model of operations whereby all Rwandans and institutions get involved in activities similar to the Army Week,” Gen. Nzabamwita said.

“We are calling on the public to join us. There will also be various activities planned by districts, including constructing houses for survivors of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, building schools, and others, but also done in cooperation with the military, the population and others”.

The planned health centres will contribute to the government’s vision of establishing one health post per cell by 2017, a total of 1,548.

In addition, the Rwanda Military Hospital-Kanombe will continue its project of providing free medical care to Rwandans.

The hospital has already covered 15 of the country’s 30 districts and plans to carry on similar work starting in Musanze and Gakenke districts, this week.

Five locations

Government officials will be present as the project is launched in five different locations in the country, including an event in the City of Kigali that will be held at Kagarama in Kicukiro District.

Upcountry events will be in Nyagatare (Eastern Province), Gicumbi (Northern Province), Karongi (Western Province) and Nyamagabe (Southern Province).

All launch centres were chosen because of their historical significance during the liberation struggle.

In Nyagatare, the event will be held at Rugarama where officials are expected to lay a foundation stone of a new health centre.

Nyagatare was the birthplace of the liberation struggle.

Mulindi in Gicumbi was used as a base for the Rwanda Patriotic Army and the people in one of its sectors, Giti, are believed not to have participated in the Genocide.

Karongi, on the other hand, was a region where hordes of Interahamwe militia encountered stiff resistance from the Tutsi.

Model district

Nyamagabe District stands out, today as an epitome model of development. The district is a model for socio-economic transformation and has a strong track record of implementing national development programmes.

“We want to have all our citizens feel that they are part and parcel of these activities. These are infrastructural activities that are aimed at bringing health care closer to our people,” Gen. Nzabamwita said.

“We have worked very closely with the Ministry of Health and there is a uniform architectural design that includes a consultation room, pharmacy, lab for testing and another room for reception as well as amenities such as a water collection centre, a washroom, sewage system and others. This is going to augment healthcare provision to our people.”

The Rwanda Defence Forces will also provide manpower such as engineers from its engineering regiment and the reserve force as well as logistical support to transport construction materials.

The New Times