Nyamagabe, Rwanda; behavior change communication campaign to help curb the spread of COVI 19 pandemic

Lydia Mobisa
Posted September 9, 2020 from Rwanda

In July, The Ministry of Local Government (Minaloc) put six cells of Nyamagabe and Nyamasheke districts in Rwanda under lockdown.


Kigeme in Gasaka Sector and Ruhunga in Kibirizi sector -Nyamagabe were affected.  To date, Kigeme cell in Gakoma village is still under lockdown.

According to a statement by Minaloc, the decision was a result of a health assessment done after the pandemic was confirmed in some parts of the two districts.


Radio Ishingiro, A community Radio based in Northern Province in partnership with WaterAid, together with the district of Nyamagabe recently carried out ant- COVID campaign in Gasarenda Market- Nyamagabe District, Southern Province.


Dubbed ‘mobile /market place campaign’, is an ongoing two months communication campaign aimed at educating people on the importance of good hygiene and sanitation, through behavior change and mindset.


The same campaign has been conducted in Bugesera district as well, targeting market places.



Bonaventure Uwamahoro, mayor of Nyamagabe district said so far, the existing communication campaigning strategies in the district have turn out to be impactful.


For instance, he mentioned that before the campaign, less than 150 people in his district had embraced the cashless system but at the moment, the number has risen to 800 people.


The mayor said the campaign has also helped in changing the mindset of the residents, as most of them now know what’s required of them. However, he urged them to continue adhering to measures put in place to combat the spread of the virus.


Among the activities carried out during the campaign included using sound systems, moderators, and Q &A sessions


Residents were asked questions regarding hygiene and their role in the community to help curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


Those who got the questions right and give real examples on what they do, were awarded hygiene items including soaps, water stands, and face masks.


Ildephonse Sinabubariranga, the managing Director, Radio Ishingiro said behavior change can result in good sanitation, for instance, if people understand the reasons for washing hands, putting stands at their home becomes easy.


“As media industries and practitioners, apart from informing and entertaining, we have a big role in educating the public, which is fundamental as far as passing the right information on COVID 19 is concerned,” he said.


He cited that it’s not all about talking to people but talking with them.



“With information on COVID 19 everywhere, everyone is aware of the virus. However, letting them express what they know to others helps one understand well what is required of them,” he added.


Odette Kampogo, a 70-year-old resident of Tare sector, Nyamagabe who was among those awarded hygiene items  said apart from just her own health, understanding the repercussion of what the virus can cause is the way forward, and that youth should be at the forefront in understanding this, so that they can pass information to others.


Comments 6

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Nini Mappo
Sep 09
Sep 09

Hello again Lydia,
Thank you for news from Rwanda. It is good to see how people have come together to look out for each other and to support each other through the lock down, and the various ways that community involvement is helping residents understand the virus and their part in eradicating it.
I hope that you are well and safe wherever you are in Rwanda.
In sisterhood, Nini

Sep 09
Sep 09

Ages matter because of environmental effects on oldages and prolonged illness.
Asthamatic also prone and hunger of open air

Hello, Lydia,

Welcome to World Pule! I'm glad that a new voice from Rwanda is rising up!

Thank you for giving us a glimpse of what your country is doing in your COVID-19 responses. Congratulations that the mobile/market place campaign is working! That saves a lot of life. I hope other nations can learn from you.

I hope you will continue to write more stories. We love to connect with you and to learn more about you and the women in your country.

Welcome again to our growing sisterhood!

Sep 10
Sep 10

Hi Lydia,
Welcome to World Pulse and congratulations on your first post! :) Thank you for sharing this piece and 'appreciation for your awesome service to the community. Together, we can manage the unpleasant effect of the coronavirus pandemic.

Keep writing, Sis,
Love and hugs,
E. J.

Sep 13
Sep 13

Thank you for sharing. The campaign is a very meaningful event and important step to raise the awareness of the viruses and improve the hygienic knowledge of people.
Hope this work can carry on and the same can be conducted in other regions.
May God bless you all!

Sep 25
Sep 25

Great effort. Information sharing is key in curbing Covid spread.Infor leads to eventual behavior change