Umuganda is a Kinyarwanda word that translates to “coming together in common purpose”. This is an event held on the last Saturday of every month where the whole community comes out to clean up the streets. 


It is not by volunteering, it is a compulsory project; the police monitor the streets and can stop Rwandans who are not participating and make them clean up on the spot. Rwandans who do not participate can be fined 5,000 Francs.


This is one of the reasons they have remarkable cleanliness; even the rural areas are clean. Another reason for the cleanliness is the decade long ban on plastic bags.


Umuganda in its current form was institutionalized in 2009. Rwandans have admitted they now see it as a way of life and it has helped install certain disciplines in them; for instance, as an individual, you consciously do not litter because you know you are responsible for cleaning it up every last Saturday of the month.


This event is compulsory for every able bodied member of the society from the age of 18-65.

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