Clean streets in Rwanda: How?

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Rwanda, once known for its genocide, is now a clean and safe country due to Umuganda, a monthly compulsory community service for able-bodied citizens. It has led to economic improvement and citizens bonding, with Kigali being the cleanest city in Africa. Rwanda also has the highest proportion of female MPs and banned plastic bags in 2007.

The horrors of the 1994 genocide may still linger in most people’s minds when they think of the African nation of Rwanda, but a quarter century later, the now peaceful country is doing its best to present a new image to the world: cleanliness. That’s why on a Saturday morning every month you’ll see an entire population working side by side in the streets, picking up rubbish and tidying up whole cities. Cars stand still, businesses are closed, and the police are keeping tabs on loafers. Known as Umuganda, which means ‘coming together for a common purpose’, the national effort has had amazing results, with Rwanda shining as a shining example of what can be achieved when people work together. This compulsory community service for every able-bodied Rwandan aged 18 to 65 is not condoned by all, and some see it as a form of repression. However, its achievements cannot be denied, as the economy improves and citizens bond, making Rwanda stand out as one of the safest African nations. Its capital, Kigali, is often lauded as the cleanest city on the continent. In fact, the work has been so successful that there’s often not enough waste to keep people busy, so they turn to other community projects, such as growing vegetables in community gardens and repairing roads and homes.

Revaluation of Rwanda:

Rwanda has the highest proportion of female MPs of any country, at around 64 percent.
In 2007, Rwanda became the first country in the world to ban plastic bags.
Rwanda is called “the land of a thousand hills”, as it mainly consists of grassy hills and five volcanoes.

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