Impact: 500 Served
Install Date: 11/09/2011
The people of Musenyi had to walk over a kilometer to swampy unprotected spring for their water. The vice mayor of social affairs for the district of Nyagatare, Charlotte Musabyimana, asked LWI Rwanda if we could help these people. After visiting the community and talking to the people and hearing their stories of the ravaging effects of diarrhea disease and malaria that has been a norm in this community, we decided this would be a great place for a well. A well committee has been formed for this well, consisting of the village chief, a church representative, and a layman from the village. This committee has opened a bank account which will help fund repairs in the future and ensure financial ownership of the well by the community which will assist in the project’s long-term sustainability. This well has also been enrolled in LWI’s operations and maintenance program which will ensure that the site is visited quarterly to check on the pump’s operability, as well as to perform follow-up health and hygiene training, tell Bible stories, pray with the community, and strengthen ties with the local church. Most community members earn a living by herding cattle for daily wages. The nearest school is located two kilometers away from the community whose students, teachers and administrative personnel all have access to the new, safe water source. Before leaving the community, the team provided community member, Pierre Akizimana, with a LWI Rwanda contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair, become subject to vandalism or theft.
The LWI Rwanda team had an opportunity to meet with thirty-three year old community member and cattle herder, Augustine Ngwabije, who stated, “We are excited about our new water pump. Having clean water in our village will transform our lives. We are thankful to God and to Living Water International.”
Melchizedek Keoye taught health and hygiene practices to 50 local people in the village of Musenyi. LWI Rwanda hygiene educator, Melchizedek, addressed: Disease transmission, germs, hand washing, proper water saving techniques, healthy and unhealthy communities, causes of diarrhea, how to take proper care of the pump, how to keep the water clean, tippy tap and simple hand washing devises, good and bad hygiene behaviors, 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.