Siganiro is located on the side of a sharp slope in the mountains of northern Rwanda. The community faces a huge erosion problem, which not only decreases the yield of their crops but also puts their lives in danger. In December 2013, the community was hit by a mudslide that killed two people and destroyed 60 people’s crops. Because of the difficult terrain, the community is located far away from important social services such as healthcare and education. The nearest health clinic is over two hours away on foot.
The Siganiro community identified their most pressing communal problem as poor roofing on their houses and community structures. During the rainy season, their houses are often flooded, which spoils their food and increases the chance of illness. The community has decided to design a crop business, selling primarily maize and beans, to raise enough income to purchase and construct new roofs for every household in the village. The community will use iron sheets to make sturdy and leak-free roofs, which will greatly improve food security and health in the village.
Applying lessons learned through the business trainings, the crop business is being managed efficiently and sustainably. Profits were used to purchase iron sheet roofs for eighteen households, and the community plans on buying and constructing two new roofs per month. In addition to the crop business, the community has launched a savings and loans group, showcasing their improved capacities as leaders. Neighboring communities have become very interested in the project and view Signairo as a role model for community driven solutions.
“We now have 5 houses that have been able to get iron sheets. The community members are committed in the business of crops and we will achieve our goal.” – Biramahoro, Project Leader