Rusizi, Rwanda

Rusizi is located in the Western part of Rwanda and has a population of around 70,000 inhabitants (2019) living on 88 km2.

At baseline, a team of experienced enumerators visited 150 households in Rusizi to collect information on the nutritional status, socio-economic information and consumption behavior of the city population. This survey revealed food insecurity in nearly all (99.3%) of the visited households in Rusizi, which increase due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 28.6% of the children under 5 years were too short for their age and therefore stunted, and 4.2% were underweight. Furthermore, 40.8% of women and 23.7% of men were overweight. Most of the women did not report an adequately diverse diet (60.7% consumed less than 5 food groups in the previous 24 hours). All this indicates the kind of obstacles faced by the urban population of Rusizi to access a diverse and nutritious diet, with likely negative effects on their longer-term health. On the other hand, many of the urban and peri-urban households owned farmland, overall 59%. This provides an opportunity for NICE activities to assist in an increase and diversification of locally and agroecologically produced nutritious foods and in making them more accessible for the city population, including vulnerable city population groups. Baseline data were collected in May 2021.

The District of Rusizi partners with the NICE consortium for this project.