Huye: Lack of clay to produce pots caused poor living conditions to the indigenous community

BY Annonciata BYUKUSENGE

Some of indigenous community live in Huye district say their livelihoods have deteriorated following a lack of the clay that has helped them produce various pots and vases, as they told to Rwandanews24.

The historically disadvantaged interviewed by Rwandanews24, are residents of Mpinga Village, Kabuga Cell in Mbazi Sector. It is said that the wetland from which they extracted the clay is now cultivated and they are no longer able to make a living.

A 50-year-old woman said: “Our job is to make pottery, pots, vases, flowerpots, large and small. We are doing all this in the mud and we were digging in the wetland here in Kabuga, but now we don’t see it because it is cultivated and it is not in our land that we will reap the harvest for years to come instead of selling pot. ”

This is the small clay she found, that said it didn’t come out of the pot (Photo: Annonciata Byukusenge)

He goes on to say that the swamp is not owned by the state, but by the people and does not stop farming to wait for those left behind by indigenous community to find clay.

Those indigenous community say they are helped to find a place to grow clay so that their lives can be restored.

A young man-20-years says it’s hard to have a family because even self-reliance has failed him. “The clay business is what made my parents grow up, but now it’s hard because we can’t make a living to make a living because the clay is gone,” he said.

Piece of pots she used in producing pots and vases (Photo: Annonciata Byukusenge)

“Even though the clay was available, I made the clay so that the fine clay was valued at between 2000Frws and 5000Frws, but there were also some customers who had money and needed so much that one clay gave me 8,000Frws which was to be prepared in a certain institution,” he said.

A 45-year-old woman says her health is still deteriorating as a result of her lack of livelihood.

“I would make pots and earn money to shop food, now we have lost clay here in Kabuga. Some of us go reach it all over Huye, but because of my low physical strength, I can’t do it. ”

When Rwandanews24 arrived at the home of Mukankuranga Vestine, she had made 5 vases and it asked her where she was getting the clay while others said it was missing.

“The clay was from the swamp, but it is not allowed because it has been cultivated different plants, it is a walk to see if there is enough land left where the footprints are, then find clay.”

Five vases she produced in small clay (Photo: Annonciata Byukusenge)

She goes on to say that the reason she reached it, because she had missed out on something to feed the children because of their learning and the child’s learning without eating prevented her from attending classes properly.

This has similarity with the impact of the Covid19 pandemic because even though she was able to make these pots she will not be able to find a place to sell them because people set that they are no longer pottery.

“Before covid19 we worked freely and found customers. Covi19 was the root cause of the lack of clay because we have not been allowed to go to someone else’s house for a long time to carry pots during lockdown. “It simply came to our notice then.

In an exclusive interview with Rwandanews24, the Director of (COPORWA) said that they didn’t know about this problem of indigenous community.

“We are going to follow up and advocate at various levels from the local authorities, and if necessary we will find a nearby swamp with clay to talk to the landowners and buy them, but they will make a living.”

The latest information on domestic life in Rwanda, according to a study by the Institute of Policy Analysis and Research (IPAR) conducted between February 2020 and May 2021, shows that the COVID-19 epidemic has been severely affected by domestic life, so much so that 64% of all respondents indicated that their household economics had slowed sharply.

The IPAR conducted a study on the effects of the COVID-19 epidemic, on the quality of life of the households in 3 districts of the City of Kigali and 6 secondary cities for the City of Kigali and interviewed 2053 households; of these 6 cities, including the City of Huye, the indigenous community spoke to Rwandanews24 where they live.

Overall, about 24% of households experienced a severe reduction in shopping budgets so that households faced a severe malnutrition problem including 25% male-dominated, 13% female-dominated and 5% of households run by couples.

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