Children in Rwanda need adequate, affordable and appropriate playing grounds

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It is 8:00Am; I pick my pen, note book and phone. I take miles and arrive at a dirt football playing ground at commonly known as Eto’o Kicukiro in Integrated polytechnique Regional College (IPRC) in Kicukiro district. Players of Nyakabanda Union FC are practicing. They are around 7-15 years of age males supervised by older ones.

In an interview with the president of the team (Cyriaque SEMWAGA) and his vice (Joseph NZABAMWITA), both boast many years of playing at this playground and brought some kids and young men for making the team together for facilitating the continuity.

I continued asking the president if there is some help they give to young players after playing football or any other facilitation. They are quick to respond that they do many things like teaching those children against drugs and drinking alcohol, patriotism and encouraging them to learn for their future.

Another problem they reported is lack of appropriate and affordable playground.they went ahead to report that accessing the dirt playing ground costs them eight hundred thousand a year (800,000Rwf) before it was three hundreds a year (300,000Rwf) so it is somehow difficult to find that money because many of the players are young, jobless and their parents are too poor to afford that high cost, at that time there was a team which was not allowed to play because of lacking money.

In general there is a lack of adequate, appropriate and affordable playground because Rwanda being mostly hilly and small in size and the current development trend, every district in the city of Kigali is under fast urbanization and that means construction of many huge buildings that leave small space for play grounds and the few ones are reserved under national sports agenda. So many children in urban areas in Rwanda are negatively affected by urbanization. These inappropriate playgrounds can cause physical injuries as there are no grasses.

In an interview with the person who is in charge of the playgrounds in that college (M. Christine) told us that it was observed that their playgrounds need enhancement and they are hopeful that these issues will be resolved by next year.

This is when the young children were playing on the ground of IPRC known as Eto’o Kicukiro in Kicukiro district.

Richard Nkurikiyimfura.

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