A Sigh of Relief as UN Women Provide Time-Saving Energy Efficient Kits for Rural Women in Rwanda

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“To save time is to lengthen life” according to dreamstime.com. Time lost can never be regained, that is why every woman needs to diligently work with time.

It is in this regard that the Rwandan UN Women distributed an energy-efficient kit to over 300 households from Nyange, Rwaza, Kimonyi, Muko, and Kinigi streets in Musanze District and 472 households in Rubavu.

This was made possible through the UN Women’s 3R (Recognize, Reduce, and Redistribute) project on unpaid care work in partnership with Rwanda Development Organisation (RDO), and Institut Africain pour le Development Economique et Social (INADES).

The kits worth 40,000,000 Rwandan francs ($40,000) included improved cooking stoves, heat retention cookers, a food flask known as the ‘wonderbox’ that keeps the food warm all day, sprayers, water tanks, harvesting crates, and motorcycles were distributed among 472 cooperative members in Rubavu District and 300 members in Musanze. The trimotor cycles will help to transport vegetable productions from farm to market and ultimately reduce domestic care work, conserve natural resources, and save cooking time for women who were already spending a lot of time doing household chores.

UN Women Rwanda Country Representative, Ms Jennet Kem appreciated UN Women partners in Rwanda and the Government of Rwanda for their unwavering support.

“We hope the kits will be used to improve your wellbeing. We encourage you to work together, save, invest, and sensitize other community members to join the cooperatives for collective gains.”

Marie Louise Mukamanzi, a mother of seven, was very happy to receive the energy-efficient stove and wonderbox which keeps the food warm for her children when they return from school saving her the stress of heating again.

“I am happy to receive the stove because it will reduce the long hours, I spend looking for firewood and cooking,” said Mukamanzi.

Dansira Uwimana from Kinigi Sector is a farmer and does weaving on the side. She always has limited time to do her weaving but is now sure the three hours she takes to cook dry beans alone will be reduced and allocated to other activities. Uwimana appreciated the support saying that collecting firewood is time-consuming and very costly and sometimes they even fail to get enough.

She said that she will utilize the time saved for weaving, an activity that brings in extra income for her family.

The Mayor of Musanze District, Janvier Ramuli, during the distribution event applauded UN Women and RDO for developing a project to relieve women from the burden of gathering firewood and cooking for long hours. He noted that the project is also environmental-friendly as it reduces the cutting down of trees (climate stressors) for firewood.

Mr Ramuli applauded the project’s focus to support women by having more time to think and undertake income-generating activities to uplift their families.

“In Musanze alone, 316 families received energy efficient kits and other 65 families will be given water tanks per family. This will empower women by removing impediments to their economic empowerment,” said Diana Mugwaneza, Programs Officer, RDO.

Nturanyenaba Consolee from Nyakiriba, Rubavu district, who was widowed 32 years ago and lives with a permanent disability and visual impairment due to a car accident told us that it was difficult for her to collect firewood and fetch water. “The energy kits come as a solution and relief for me in my old age and limited resources, thanks to UN Women’s support,” she said.

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