My home village in Rwanda is Gicwamba in the former Umutara region, renamed Nyagatare District in Eastern Province. Gicwamba sits at the foot of beautiful ridges with gentle slopes that descend into the valley below. Here Rwanda meets Uganda, with a small seasonal stream forming the border. The Gicwamba hill, the highest in the ridges, is stunning — its estimated terrain elevation above seal level is 1,533 meters, which is a lovely climb. Beyond Gicwamba hill facing south is Nyagatare town. Facing north is the Uganda town of Kamwezi.
But like anything else in Rwanda, surface appearance hide ugly realities. And so it is my beautiful home village, blessed with nature’s beauty of hills, valleys and green-filled countryside that borders Uganda.
This region is desperately poor.
And of late, this largely impoverished, though geographically magnificent region has fallen on hard times. No rains; no water; no food; and no government assistance.
The other day I wrote a piece about how desperate Rwandans from Nyagatare District are crossing into Uganda looking for food. Then somebody pointed out to me that the Rwandan Newspaper Izuba Rirashe recently did an article on Nyagatare indicating that over six thousand people have no water.
The pictures from Izuba Rirashe tell the shocking story of my beloved home region. Here are the pictures, courtesy of Izuba Rirashe.
So where where is this man — and his Singapore of Africa?