Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...
This site was scouted by the living water staff with the district engineer together with the local leader of the cell. The team choose this site because of the seriousness of this community’s lack of access to a safe water source. Upon the team’s arrival, 764 community members were dependent on various forms of surface water including a spring all located over a kilometer outside the community to meet all of their water needs. (Editor's Note: While this many people may have access on any given day, realistically a single water source can only support a population of 350-500 people. To learn more, click here.)Because of this, residents were suffering from cholera, malaria, diarrhea and severe dehydration among other preventable water related illnesses. The community has access to pit latrines and with sustained hygiene promotion coupled with access to safe drinking water, this practice should no longer be used and the spread of waterborne illness should rapidly decrease. During the team’s stay, community members assembled a Water Committee who assisted the team for the duration of their stay including; supplying materials, labor, and security. The Water Committee is also responsible for maintaining the well after the team leaves the area.
During the hygiene education, the Living Water Rwanda team addresses: Hand washing, how to properly transport and store water, disease transmission and prevention, how to maintain proper care of the pump, as well as signs and symptoms of dehydration and how to make Oral Rehydration Solution. All of these lessons are taught in a participatory method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community driven solutions.
The Living Water Rwanda team had an opportunity to meet with 30 year old community member and farmer, Ntagungira Faustin, who stated, "We have been going down to the valley for water but now this well is near us and we will no longer walk uphill with water. It has always been back breaking to carry a jerican of water uphill."