Rwamagana Genocide widows get cows worth Rwf50m.

By Kelly Rwamapera, The New Times.

Twenty-five widows of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi were, on Thursday, given a hybrid dairy cow each under the national cattle-stocking programme, Girinka.

The highly productive cows were donated by Msaada, an organisation that helps vulnerable Genocide survivors in Rwamagana, Kayonza and Kirehe districts in Eastern Province. Msaada and Survivors Fund (SURF) have been long-time partners in supporting the widows in membership of AVEGA Eastern Region.

The cows donated are worth Rwf50 million.

Dr Theogene Rutagwenda, the director-general of animal resources at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources (MINAGRI), advised the beneficiaries to take good care of the animals by making use of the veterinary officers in their localities.

He said the cows, being of pure breed, requires extra care and are highly productive in terms of milk.

“You have veterinary officers in your areas to take care of your cattle that are paid for by the Government. Go and make good use of them wherever you notice any slight problem with your cow,” said Rutagwenda.

Other women groups that have previously benefited from the same breed of cows gave testimonies of how each produces at least 15 litres a day.

The beneficiaries were also given pesticides, and iodine salts for initial catering for the animals.

Msaada country coordinator Jean de Dieu Seminega said the organisation was named so from the Swahili word for ‘assistance’.

“As Msaada, we have assists Rwandans to restore their dignity and their livelihoods that were destroyed during the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994 through dairy projects and education for students in Rwamagana District and Mukarange in Kayonza District.

Msaada was founded by Fergal Keane, an actress Joanna Lumley, and the Archbishop of Emeritus in South Africa, Desmond Tutu.

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