Owning a simple bicycle could â€˜saveâ€™ Ngoma district
A bicycle, which costs not more than Rwf60.000 is a very common means of transport in African communities, and owning one in rural Africa sometimes reflects a social status and oneâ€™s ease to access the family, market places and reaching out to others in need.
Just like other villages in Rwanda, for 473 Village heads in Ngoma district, Eastern Province of Rwanda, owning a bicycle remains a farfetched reality due to lack of financial ability and thus an impediment to perform their duties
Putting this in mind the need to perform, as leaders, who donâ€™t even get a salary but work on voluntary basis, Ngoma village heads have asked that the government provides them with bicycles as a means of transportation to ease their access to residents in the communities.
The leaders say that lack of transport means has continued to impede the implementation of the duties and thus limit their access to communities especially when they have resolve arising conflicts among the citizens they head.
Some of the leaders also say that this has compelled some of them to use their own incomes to perform their duties as leaders and have asked government to intervene to this concern so that they can effectively do their job.
â€œWe are obliged to attend crucial meetings at the sector and sometimes urgently respond to issues arising in the community, but most times we delay because of lack of transport and to an extent use our own moneyâ€ said Apollinaire Rubagumya, the head of Gituku village, Rukira sector.
The call from village leaders comes at a time when local leaders have been accused for not performing their duties and to a large extent even delaying justice among residents due to negligence and reluctance.
However, some of the village heads have attributed these delays partly due to lack of transport and say that if government intervened, they would be in good position to reach as many residents as possible.
Aphrodise Nambaje, the Mayor of Ngoma district says that the village leaders have a valid request but the district has been strained by budget constraints to meet most of demands of the leaders
The district should be in position to provide such a transport facilitation, just as we do on health insurance for local village heads. The problem remains on budget priorities and sources of income such as increase tax collection would enable us to meet more demandsâ€ Nambaje said.