Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...
When the Living Water Rwanda team arrived, 119 families were dependent on a stream and unprotected hand dug well located a kilometer outside the community to meet all of their water needs. Because of this, families were suffering from diarrhea and severe dehydration among other preventable water related illnesses. The community's use of a pit latrine with a slab, VIP latrines, and regular pit latrines will help prevent further spread of disease in the area. Most residents farm to sustain their families and a few are able to sell excess produce at nearby markets. There is a community center and Adventist and Protestant churches in the community whose staff and congregations now have access to a safe water source. The Living Water Rwanda team empowered the local churches to continue sharing the Gospel in the community as it relates to safe drinking water. Equipping the church to take ownership of the project creates a sustainable evangelical presence in the community. The community established a water committee and community health club who assisted the team with the water project whenever possible, supplied any materials they had available, and provided meals for the team. This water committee is also responsible for helping maintain the well after the team leaves the area and was provided with a Living Water Rwanda contact number in case their well were to fall into disrepair or become subject to vandalism or theft. Two other NGOs are working in the area: Care International and Search For Common Ground. These NGOs are working to provide unity and reconciliation training and family care.
Using the Living Water Traditional Method, the team addressed with 72 community members: Disease Transmission, Hand Washing - Proper Techniques and Water Saving Methods, Latrine Perception, Tippy Tap, Proper Care of the Pump, and Keeping The Water Clean. Tippy Taps for households were constructed by community members as were pit latrines. The use of both facilities will help prevent further spread of disease in the area and promote good hygiene behaviors.
The Living Water Rwanda team had the opportunity to meet with 28 year old community member and subsistence farmer, Nsegiyumya Fidel, who stated, "It is amazing that we are having this new water well. Ever since childhood we used the stream water for domestic use and we know well of their possible contamination runoff. This community is a lot different because of this new well with its water quality. The water won't be affected by runoff as our previous one."