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July 13, 2024
Poultry & Livestock Review Africa
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Rubavu to provide 8,000 chickens to vulnerable families

Rubavu district has introduced a novel initiative to combat stunting by providing two egg-laying chickens to vulnerable families. Despite abundant vegetables like carrots and cabbages, the region still struggles with high rates of stunting, prompting this innovative approach.

Renowned for its fertile soil and proximity to Lake Kivu, facilitating fish farming, Rubavu serves as a vital food source for the country. Nadine Nyirasafari, a resident of Rugerero Sector, stressed the importance of consistent mobilization campaigns to shift mindsets and reduce stunting. She noted instances of parents leaving their children without adequate care when traveling to DR Congo for work.

The district has earmarked over Rwf 46 million for acquiring 7,831 egg-laying chickens, approved by the district council, expected to significantly alleviate stunting. Vice Mayor Pacifique Ishimwe, overseeing Social Affairs, announced that each needy family would receive two egg-laying chickens starting April 2024 to enhance dietary intake, aiming to reach 3,915 households.

This initiative forms part of a broader strategy, including promoting antenatal care attendance, enhancing children’s growth monitoring at the village level, increasing awareness of immunization attendance, and deworming. Efforts to educate on preparing balanced diets, monitoring nutrition commodities at the household level, and improving hygiene and sanitation are also underway.

Stunting remains a significant concern in the Western Province, drawing government officials’ attention during visits. Minister of Local Government, Jean-Claude Musabyimana, stressed balanced nutrition during a previous visit to Rubavu district.

Data from the Maternal, Child, and Community Health (MCCH) week in 2023 revealed a stunting rate of 20 percent for children under two years old in Rubavu district. However, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) Demographic and Health Survey shows a decline from 46 percent in 2015 to 40 percent in 2020, with 4024 stunted children currently in the district.

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