Project Status

Project Type:  Borehole Well and Hand Pump

Program: Wells for Rwanda

Impact: 500 Served

Project Phase: 
Community Managed
Implementing Partner Monitoring Data Unavailable
Initial Installation: Nov 2014

Project Features

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Community Profile

Upon completion of the project, our partner in the field reports...

Community Details

Without access to safe water, the 189-family community of Biraro in southern Ruhango, Rwanda was forced to utilized water from a stream to support all of their water needs. Limited to choose between dehydration and disease, life with unsafe water persisted and perpetuated a seemingly endless cycle of poverty, malnourishment and crippled development. Ready to end their suffering with a sustainable, improved water solution, community leaders sought help from Living Water, while the team was working in a neighboring community. Living Water responded.

Unsafe water was not the only challenge present for families living in Biraro. The community equally suffered from their lack of basic hygiene and sanitation principles. Poor hygiene behaviors were observed by the Living Water team, and during the week, the hygiene and sanitation team shared multiple life-saving lessons on good hygiene and sanitation choices, emphasizing the value of hand washing and the sole use of waste in latrine facilities. A five-person Water Committee was also established and trained to maintain the well and manage its water resources. The Living Water Rwanda team also fully explained the value of well maintenance and water management to not only the Water Committee, but also to the entire community to ensure safe water will be available for many years to come!

Although securing safe water and establishing foundational hygiene and sanitation principles is paramount to poverty alleviation, good health and community development, it alone is not sufficient to satisfy the deepest thirst. The gospel of Jesus Christ was shared, with support from three local churches and the Living Water Rwanda team. Together, these witnesses for Christ shared Scripture, oral Bible stories and love through good works with 140 people (35 men, 45 women and 60 children) that now have an opportunity to know Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior.

Hygiene Promotion

Health and sanitation training was conducted by a group of five Ruhango District Health Officials and partners who were undergoing a Community Health Club (CHC) training of trainers course with Living Water Rwanda. Overall, there were 48 people who attended and benefited from the following lessons: disease transmission, germs, healthy and unhealthy communities, hand washing-proper techniques and water saving methods, latrine perception, diarrhea doll-causes of diarrhea, good-bad hygiene behaviors, disease transmission stories, proper care of the pump and keeping the water clean. All of the lessons were taught in a participatory method and using the LWI Traditional Method to help community members discover ways to improve their hygiene and sanitation choices, and implement community-driven solutions. After concluding the hygiene promotion, the community constructed household tippy taps and a pit latrine with a slab to initiate behavior change.

Community Member Interview

"We would have to go down to the stream to get water and it was visibly unclean. There were many activities happening upstream and we were downstream fetching the same water," shared 37-year-old community member and farmer, Emmanuel. "It will be so different with this new well."

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Project Photos

Project Type

Abundant water is often right under our feet! Beneath the Earth’s surface, rivers called aquifers flow through layers of sediment and rock, providing a constant supply of safe water. For borehole wells, we drill deep into the earth, allowing us to access this water which is naturally filtered and protected from sources of contamination at the surface level. First, we decide where to drill by surveying the area and determining where aquifers are likely to sit. To reach the underground water, our drill rigs plunge through meters (sometimes even hundreds of meters!) of soil, silt, rock, and more. Once the drill finds water, we build a well platform and attach a hand pump. If all goes as planned, the community is left with a safe, closed water source providing around five gallons of water per minute!

We would have to go down to the stream to get water and it was visibly unclean. There were many activities happening upstream and we were downstream fetching the same water. It will be so different with this new well.

Emmanuel - Farmer


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