The government has revised categories under Ubudehe, a social programme where people from various neighbourhoods work together to weed crop fields and construct houses among other things.
This follows changing living standards across the country, now largely seen as improved. Currently, Ubudehe are classified into six categories with their specific names depending on the economic status of each individual household, which helps the government to determine who qualifies for welfare services.
The new categories of Ubudehe will be considered next year and will be revised every three years thereafter. The first testing of new categories implementation will be done within one district of four provinces including Kigali.
Speaking to Rwanda Today, Ladislas Ngendahimana, the spokesperson of Ministry of Local government (MINALOC) said the new classification of Ubudehe includes four categories instead of six and they will be used as a planning tool to facilitate the government in its bid to deliver different services to citizens.
“The new categorisation is not based on names, instead its only purpose is to demonstrate the living standards of residents. It can be used to carry out a more thorough analysis to find out who needs specific support from the government” said Mr Ngendahimana.
He added that citizens should change their mindset and perception about the Ubudehe programme.
“Its purpose is not only funding poor people but also help the government reduce poverty,” said Mr Ngendahimana.
MINALOC has made the changes due to sustainable improvements in poverty reduction, which has seen many Rwandans lifted out of poverty.
“There is an improvement in living conditions,” said Mr Ngendahimana.
“Those who were homeless or extremely poor in 2011 were given houses while others got cows from the Girinka programme,” said Mr Ngendahimana.
The first category has the very poor who do not have a house or cannot to pay rent; have a poor diet; cannot get basic household tools and clothes.
The second category includes those who have their own houses; can afford to rent a house; mostly get food and earn a wage from working with others.
The third category includes those who have at least one person in the family working in the government or the private sector.
The fourth category includes people who earn high incomes; people who own houses; people who can afford a luxurious lifestyle.