“Crops that we produced in this season C, would have been impossible to be produced without the water pumps.” Said a farmer to journalits reacting to the impact of their participation in District Performance contract (Imihigo) through TI-Rwanda project which empowers farmers at district level through social accountability tools to improve performance contracts “Imihigo” in Rwandan agriculture.
TI-Rwanda with the implementing partner, Imbaraga a local have collected farmer’s needs which were submitted to District officials for their inclusion in Imihigo. Among the top priorities in Kayonza, was the lack of motor pumps for facilitating irrigation, especially for the driest sectors : Kabale, Mwili, Ndego. After presenting this need to Kayonza District authorities, they decided to buy motor pumps for the whole district and to sell them to the farmers at low cost. So far 83 pumps were distributed. For Ndego and Kabale, farmers paid only 25%, whereas farmers in other sectors paid 50% of the total price.
Nyamirama sector agronomist also emphasized on the impact of the project. “The district used to make the performance contract every year and involve farmers in implementation phase only. Now that farmers are participating in the process of planning performance contracts, they will also become more participatory in the implementation because they feel more responsible to achieve what they set for themselves as their performance contract (imihigo).”
Under the grant from Aga Khan University Graduate School of Media and Communications through Social Accountability Media Initiative [SAMI], TI-Rw in partnership with Pax Press has set up Rwanda Social Accountability Media Network which is composed of 12 media practitioners in Rwanda. This network was created looking for collaboration with media in order to create a better understanding of social accountability and to bring media on board. The network has committed to working towards enhancing citizens’ awareness and engagement in performance contracts (IMIHIGO) process.
In this regard, members of the network visited farmers on 22nd August, 2018 in Kayonza district, Nyamirama and Mwili sector to cover stories related to citizen engagement in performance contract (Imihigo) process in agricultural project.
The creation of the network aims at having a pool of journalists in Rwanda with the knowledge on social accountability and citizen participation as well as the commitment to make sure that citizen’s voices are heard. The network will also serve as an exchange platform for journalists and to have specialized media practitioners in social accountability. Transparency International Rwanda in partnership with Pax press is building capacity of the network through trainings.