Impact: 500 Served
Install Date: 11/03/2011
Bushoga was chosen by the vice mayor of social affairs, Charlotte Musabyimana as a high priority site for a well. When the LWI Rwanda sustainability coordinator, Arthur Kaneza, scouted the site, the team discovered that the river from which the people were getting water, is not much more than accumulated runoff rainwater. The people share their water source with cows and goats both upstream and downstream. The animals add to the pollution of the people’s water source. While the LWI Rwanda team was there, a man rode up on his bicycle to fetch water and waded in among the cows and immediately began drinking the water. When the team asked him how he could drink such contaminated water he replied that he was so thirsty that he would rather fight the diseases he would get than die of thirst. The people in the community all voiced their agreement with the man. They told the team that this water is their only choice between life and death. Needless to say, sickness has run rampant in Bushoga. This well has a water committee consisting of a church representative, the village chief, and a village layman. The water committee has opened a bank account which will be used to fund repairs in the future, ensuring the sustainability and financial ownership of the project. Living Water International has also enlisted this well in its operation and maintenance program which will make quarterly visits to the site to ensure the pump remains operable and to do follow up health and hygiene training with the community along with telling Bible stories, praying with the community, and strengthening ties with the local church. During the team’s stay, community members assisted the team with the water project whenever possible and assembled a water committee consisting of three men who will maintain the
well after the team leaves the area. Most community members sustain their families by farming and selling their excess produce at nearby markets. The nearest school is located .4 of a kilometer away from the community whose students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to the new, safe water source.
The team had an opportunity to meet with forty-nine year old community member and farmer, George Kanyankore, who stated, “The new water from the borehole is clean and good because it is not polluted while the old one was dirty even when just looking at it from afar.”
LWI Rwanda team member, Melchizedek Keoye, taught health and hygiene principles to 50 people from the village of Bushoga. Community members were excited to learn how germs are transmitted. During the discussion, the team also addressed: Disease transmission, germs, hand washing, proper water saving techniques, healthy and unhealthy communities, tippy tap use and simple hand washing devises, disease transmission stories, clean hands and clean hearts and dental hygiene.
While 35 percent of Rwanda's population lacks access to an improved
water source, the country has numerous rivers and streams as well as
tremendous potential for developing groundwater resources. Villagers in
many areas are forced to walk several miles to the nearest source of
water—contaminated water from a swamp, stream, or open well. For these
desperate communities, Living Water International offers hope. Since
beginning operations in Rwanda in 2007, Living Water has completed more
than 195 water projects there.
Nearly 20 years ago, we set out to help the church in North America be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving the poorest of the poor. 600 million people in the world live on less than $2 a day. 884 million people lack access to safe drinking water.
For all practical purposes, these statistics refer to the same people; around the world, communities are trapped in debilitating poverty because they constantly suffer from water-related diseases and parasites, and/or because they spend long stretches of their time carrying water over long distances.
In response to this need, we implement participatory, community-based water solutions in developing countries. Since we started, we’ve completed water projects for 7,000 communities in 26 countries.
It all began in 1990, when a group from Houston, Texas traveled to Kenya and saw the desperate need for clean drinking water. They returned to Houston and founded a 501(c)3 non-profit. The fledgling organization equipped and trained a team of Kenyan drillers, and LWI Kenya began operations the next year under the direction of a national board.
That pattern continues today; we train, consult, and equip local people to implement solutions in their own countries.
Remembering the life-changing nature of that first trip in 1990, we also lead hundreds of volunteers on mission trips each year, working with local communities, under the leadership of nationals, to implement water projects. It’s hard to know which lives are changed more—those “serving” or those “being served.”
Our training programs in shallow well drilling, pump repair, and hygiene education have equipped thousands of volunteers and professionals in the basics of integrated water solutions since 1997.