Life in the Ecovillage: Q&A

To get a more detailed glimpse of what life is like on the Kibeti Ecovillage, Hannah Fitter posed some questions to the Director of JPF in DRC, Raymond Kumbelunzweto. She discovered that great progress has been made, but there is always room for improvement.


Ecovillage Administration

Q: How many people work towards the administration of the Ecovillage?

A: 15 people work at the Ecovillage

There are 8 officers of the Coordination

  1. Local Coordinator: Jean Bosco Bazika
  2. Vice Coordinator: Théophile Ziata Mukobi
  3. Recording Secretary: Arthur Zizi
  4. Assistant Recording Secretary: Joachin Mbutuyibi
  5. Treasurer: Denis Waditukila
  6. Councillors: Victor Ndeke, Jean Kalubi, Atuhelusa Kilaba


There are 7 Heads of the 7 Committees of the Ecovillage

  1. Economy and Road Infrastructure: Akadikowu Nakasumba
  2. Agriculture and Livestock: Jean Mulosa
  3. School Education: Kazitangaku Kaketa
  4. Hygene and Health: Tony Lukela
  5. Empowerment of Women: Magy Akawakowu
  6. Housing: Mbaku Kizola
  7. Environment: Bavon Namwisi
Q: How many people work in the Kibeti Clinic?

A: 6 people work at the Clinic

There are three nurses, a supervisor, a coordinator, and an assistant. JPF also relies on medical volunteers to assist in the Kibeti Clinc as well.


Medical Concerns in the Ecovillage


Q: What is the payment rate for health care at the Clinic?

A: The payment rate depends on the diseases/illnesses found on the patient by the Medical Assistant.


Q: How much is the cost of care, on average?

A: The average cost ranges from 3-5 $USD


Q: What is needed at the Kibeti Clinic?

A: The Clinic needs medicines, medical supplies, medical equipment, and financial support for the construction of a large hospital and to cover the administrative expenses.


Q: What are the most frequently occurring diseases that the Clinic faces?

A: The most common diseases that are brought to the Clinic are:


  1. Malaria
  2. Yellow Fever
  3. Aches in the head and lower abdomen accompanying a cough
  4. Measles
  5. Polio
  6. Typhoid
  7. Tuberculosis
  8. Childbirth
  9. Meningitis
  10. Chicken Pox
  11. Due to the lack of a Doctor and appropriate equipment, the Clinic cannot yet perform surgery.


Q: Are most women monitored during pregnancy?

A: Yes. Pregnant women are monitored through prenatal and antenatal periods. The process for pregnant women is:


  1. Purchase a of an ID Card at the reception
  2. Meeting with midwife to discuss the progress of the pregnancy and the most important information to be known
  3. Nurse consultation
  4. Prescription for lab tests
  5. Result of the lab tests given to the women
  6. Medical prescription is given according to the result of the lab tests
  7. Treatment and counseling sessions between midwife and pregnant women


Q: How often do children come to the Clinic?

A: Children make up 60% of the people who come to the Clinic


Q: Is child malnutrition a serious problem in Kibeti?

A: No. Malnutrition has not been a problem thanks to the help of a committee’s campaign to raise awareness in preventive health care


Q: What is the typical food intake of a child like?

A: Children have meals regularly, consisting of:

  1. Cassava
  2. Marrow
  3. Other Vegetables
  4. Very small amount of fish. We are assessing how to start a fish farming project to increase the production of fish.


Q: What is the current state of sanitation management in the Ecovillage?

A: Sanitary conditions in the 13 villages must be improved. It is for this reason that JPF is trying to partner with UNICEF specifically to work on improving sanitation systems



Q: Describe the tax system for inhabitants of the Ecovillage?

A: There are three kinds of taxes

  1. Minimum “Personal Contribution Tax”
  2. Land Occupation Tax
  3. State-Owned Tax Revenue


Legal Matters

Q: Are there legal proceedings?

A: Yes. At the Ecovillage, in the case of liability and violations of the laws, there are lawsuits.


Democratic Elections

Q: Are there term limits for the members of the committees? How long?

A: Each member of the committee has a term limit of 3 years and can be re-elected once


Q: What is the election process like?

A: To be elected to a committee, a person must:

  1. Be honest
  2. Have leadership capability
  3. Have development initiatives for the Ecovillage
  4. Be literat
  5. Be a good listener
  6. Have a democratic spirit


Q: When and where are elections held?

A: There are local elections held at general meetings in each village, all of the villagers are welcome to vote


Q: How are members of the village nominated?

A: When the term of an elected official is over, the Committee of Wise Men (Le Comité des Sages) convenes a general meeting of each institution


Q: How often are women elected?

A: In the most recent autonomous elections held in each of the 13 villages, 10-20% of the elected officials were women



Q: Are pesticides used?

A: No, pesticides are not used.


Q: Which crops are grown?

A: Crops grown include:

  1. Cassava
  2. Peanuts
  3. Corn
  4. Marrow
  5. Bananas
  6. Sweet Potatoes
  7. Beans
  8. Palm Wine
  9. Various Vegetables


Q: Are the crops grown used for income or for food nourishment?

A: The Kibeti Ecovillage agriculture is used for both, income and nourishment


Q: Are there animal farms?

A: There are animals in the Ecovillage, but they are not used for farming purposes


Q: What are the needs of the Ecovillage’s agricultural sector?

A: The agricultural sector needs funds to pay for training of farmers in green agriculture (Permaculture) and to incorporate animals into the Ecovillage


Q: How many farmers are there in Kibeti?

A: There are 150 farmers in Kibeti



Q: What is the attendance rate of children in primary school in Kibeti?

A: 75% of primary school-aged children attend even though their parents are not always able to cover all the School fees


Q: What sorts of materials are used in the schools?

A: Each school has a small amount of books just for the teachers and not for students; there is a lack of tables, desks, books and school furniture


Q: What are the currents needs in the school system?

A: Kibeti needs to improve school’s infrastructures with new buildings in sustainable materials, equipment, textbooks and school supplies.


Q: Are teachers paid? How much?

A: Teachers in Kibeti who are certified by the Ministry of Education are paid by the State

  1. Teachers who are not certified by the Ministry of Education are paid by the parents of students
  2. Teachers’ salaries are around 50$ per month and are not self sufficient



Q: What is the rate of poverty in Kibeti?

A: Poverty is advanced in the Ecovillage due to a lack of income-generating activities or microenterprises. However, members of the Ecovillage have good initiatives in making hands products and have plans to partner with microenterprise projects to build the local economy.

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