Eastern Province, Rwanda
I am back to tell you how our week went…….
For the whole of the past week, Megan and I have been on long bus and motorcycle rides travelling to the Eastern part of Rwanda in search for banana cooperatives that can become our potential supplies for banana fibers as one of our raw materials for production of affordable sanitary pads.
Megan and I have visited five banana cooperatives so far, and our target is to visit ten cooperatives this month. I enjoy talking to the presidents of the coops, and interpreting for Megan in English and for the coop representative in Kinyarwanda is my favorite.
Right now, farmers only use the harvested pseudostems as fertilizers in their plantations or food for the cows during the dry season when they cannot get grass for their cows. Farmers are so excited to work with SHE in this supply chain, and it’s one way of adding value to the banana industry in Rwanda.
However, during these field visits, we go into very remote areas where there are no restaurants, no stores, no nothing… only the beautiful green banana plantations….so we hardly get food and we can only eat when back to Kigali.
On one of the field visits to Ngoma (Eastern Province), we got stuck on the way back to kigali because there was a truck that had had an accident and knocked houses on the main road, and it took forever to clear the roads so our bus had to just find his way through banana plantations. It was so terrible, so much traffic…and we got to Kigali at around 9:00pm and yet we usually get there at 5:30pm. It’s a great experience for Megan and me.
Looking forward to giving more updates on what is going on in Rwanda.