Disaster-prone Rwanda and VFL 2019

Jean de Dieu Musengamana with children from a Rwandan community Photo: Manadisaster Organization

VFL 2019 is currently being rolled out, and one of the first countries to start survey collection has been the National Coordination Organisation (NCO) Manadisaster Organization in Rwanda. We spoke with the country legal representative of Manadisaster, Jean de Dieu Musengamana, about his experience with the programme so far.

Heavy rain, thunderstorms, landslides, droughts and windstorms have claimed over 2000 lives in Rwanda over the last three years – in addition to the damage done to properties, plantations and other assets.

It was against this backdrop that Manadisaster – an organisation that has been working in the field of disaster awareness, preparedness, recovery and mitigation and climate change adaptation in Rwanda since 2012 - decided to get involved in VFL 2019.

The organisation saw VFL 2019 as an opportunity to strengthen the collaboration between government and vulnerable civil society groups in the area of disaster risk reduction and resilience.

The process

Manadisaster Organisation applied to be the NCO of Rwanda last August, and was accepted. Subsequently, preparations for the programme started. Manadisaster reached out to fellow GNDR members in order to form partnerships, and to government institutions in order to present the programme.

The organisation now finds itself in the second phase of the project, where they have formed National Advisory Groups, and recruited Partner Organisations (POs). These POs are now in the process of collecting data, and aim to finish the data collection by the end of March 2019.

Lots of work in a short time

“I would say that the process so far has been tough”, says Mr. Jean de Dieu Musengamana when asked about his experience with VFL 2019 so far.

“In the preparatory phase we had to comply with all the processes and the time was very short. However, using all our organisational capacity every step of the way, we managed this. We learned to work hard in a short time”.

Useful VFL training

Mr. Musengamana is no stranger to the VFL process, however, having already participated in VFL back in 2013 informally, and having attended a three-day VFL training conducted by GNDR in Rwanda in November 2018.

He points out that particularly the training, conducted by GNDR’s VFL Coordinator and senior staff, was useful in order to understand all the phases and steps involved in VFL2019, as the 2019 version differs a bit from previous ones.

Making the most out of it

After VFL 2019 is wrapped up, Mr. Musenganama has firm plans to make the most out of the VFL 2019 experience to improve conditions for at-risk people in Rwanda.

“We will use the outcome of the programme to fill in our action plans in the near and far future and advocate at national level to match the gap between implementation of existing policies at national and local level”, he explains.

“We also plan to establish a procedure to measure local progress in inclusive risk governance".

When being asked about his advice to other VFL participants, his advice is clear:

“Work closely with communities at the grassroots level and local authorities. That will help you a lot”, he concludes.




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