05 July 2012

Produce children you can look after well, Minister urges

UNFPA Resident Representative, Victoria Akyeampong (centre), and Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, John Rwangombwa (in white), join community members for a clean-up day.

Produce children you can look after well, the Rwandan Minister of Finance and Economic Planning urged residents as he joined them in a community clean up campaign in Kigali City. “We need children who will grow up to be useful to themselves, their parents and the nation,” John Rwangombwa said.

Mr. Rwangombwa and UNFPA Resident Representative to Rwanda, Victoria Akyeampong, joined residents of Gasharu and Murama Cells in their monthly community work (Umuganda) on 30 June. They helped clear the road linking Kinyinya Sector and Bumbogo Sector in Gasabo District.

Their participation in community work was aimed at delivering a message in line with the theme of this year’s World Population Day (WPD) of ‘Universal access to reproductive health services’. The Minister delivered the message on his behalf and that of the UNFPA Resident Representative and the Director General of the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR), Yussuf Mugiraneza.

Those taking part in the community work wore t-shirts bearing the message ‘Go to your community health worker for family planning services’.

Mr. Rwangombwa said that celebrating the World Population Day “is an opportunity to reflect on the quality of life of our people.” If population growth is not checked, the large population numbers will affect development, he said. He urged couples to have a few children whom they can feed well and educate. “Family planning is about improving quality of life,” he said.

Ms. Akyeampong and Mr. Rwangombwa get down to some hard work, helping to clear the road.

Not using family planning services and nor seeking antenatal care were responsible for the maternal deaths that plagued the nation. “No mother should die while giving life,” he said. He urged men to participate in the planning of their families, saying that family planning is a responsibility of both men and women.

He also stressed the importance of community health workers and urged couples to seek family planning services from them and to follow their advice.

World Population Day activities include a march from Parliament Gardens to the National Stadium on 11 July, a meeting at Town Hall to be televised by Rwanda Television and Radio Rwanda on 15 July, and a Radio talk show on Radio Rwanda and all community radio stations on 18 July. 

Population census

The fourth National Population and Housing Census will be held from 15-30 August this year. Mr. Rwangombwa urged the residents of Kinyinya Sector to provide truthful information to the census enumerators. The census was not aimed at identifying the poorest people to get government assistance, but at gathering vital statistics to aid development planning.

Celebrations of anniversaries of independence and liberation

On the celebrations to mark Rwanda’s 50 years of independence and 18 years of liberation, celebrated on 1 and 4 July respectively, the Minister said that every Rwandan should reflect on the past 50 years Rwanda has spent as an independent country. “We should celebrate our achievements and work hard to correct whatever went wrong during these fifty years,” he said.

Mr. Rwangombwa addresses the community, delivering the meaning and messages of World Population Day.