WaterAid: 10 Years of Extending Equitable Safe Water Supply, Promoting Hygiene in Rwanda

The Permanent Secretary at MININFRA Eng. Patricie Uwase speaks during the celebrations.

One of the most important goals for the Government of Rwanda 7-year programme (2017-2024) is to ensure access to clean water for every household in the country.

To hit this target the government has partnered with development organizations including WaterAid, an International organization that has pledged to support equitable access to safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education (WASH) to families in Rwanda until 2030.

With, 10 years of experience extending safe water, sanitation, and hygiene education to seven districts of the country, WaterAid Rwanda has pledged  to work for an additional decade to extend safe water to households in Rwanda.

This is in line with the country’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) targets by 2024. Under this strategy, access to water will be scaled up to all from 85 % (Estimates 2017) to 100% by 2024. The contribution of partners like WaterAid will be key in achieving this target.

On the occasion of its 10th anniversary, WaterAid Rwanda pledged 10 more years to extend access to safe water and hygiene education in Rwanda households. This was revealed during the 10th-anniversary celebrations held last week on October 22, at Kigali Serena Hotel.

“Today, we are celebrating ten years we have been working in the country, extending safe water and hygiene education to communities, but we are committing more equal years of hard work. We are ready and we have the expertise to do better than what did ten years ago now,” Maurice Kwizera, Country Director of WaterAid Rwanda said.

“Extending these services to households does not need money only, but time and better ideas. However, we hope to do more than what we are celebrating today. Educating people about hygiene is hard work, but we shall also continue putting more efforts, we shall continue investing more money the way we shall get it from partners,” the Country Director said.

Kwizera added that “Money comes from finding people’s ideas, this is the important thing. We shall continue doing both investing and extending these services to people until 2030. COVID-19 has been an example to every person; it is now clear that regular hand washing is essential in societies.”

Kwizera said that “it is often said water is life, sanitation is dignity and hygiene is health. This is exactly what Water Aid has been doing in Rwanda, bringing life, dignity, and health.”

WaterAid rwanda Country Director pledged more efforts to extend water and hygiene services to Rwanda households.

Since its inception, WaterAid Rwanda has supplied safe water to more than 172,483 people; educated 221,523 about sanitation, and 959,724 people were trained on hygiene behavior change.

Elsewhere, 338 schools, 5 health care centers, and two public places have accessed similar services including safe water, hygiene education, and sanitary facilities like menstrual sanitary rooms for girls at schools.

For a decade operating in Rwanda, WaterAid has been working in 7 districts including Bugesera, Rwamagana and Nyagatare in Eastern Province, Nyamagabe in Southern Province as well as Nyarugenge, Gasabo, and Kicukiro districts in the City of Kigali.

According to the WaterAid Rwanda, over Rwf7billion has been spent in conducting hygiene awareness campaigns, sanitation services, and extending safe water to the communities in the last decade.

According to NST1, to move towards a modern Rwandan Household, universal access to safe water and sanitation will be evident; the target is to reach 100% by 2024 from 87.4% and 86.2% access to water and sanitation services respectively.

Eng. Patricie Uwase, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Infrastructure said during the celebrations that WaterAid Rwanda has been a great partner of the Government of Rwanda for the last ten years, but most especially during the COVID-19 pandemic where it intervened in creating awareness on preventive measures.

“It’s great to see WaterAid adding value, working together with partners focusing on the last mile provision of services, reaching the most vulnerable in a sustainable way and taking an aerial wide approach.” Tim WainWright , CEO WaterAid International.

“The organization played a great role in constructing washing stations in Bugesera district and several hospitals. By 2024 we shall be completing our NST1 goals and we shall work with WaterAid to achieve these goals, one of the goals is extending safe water to household, this organization will support achieve this,”

Uwase added that “The government has the mandate to construct big water pipes and water supply reservoirs, but we also partner with organisations like WaterAid Rwanda to help us in extending water and hygiene services to households,”

“Specifically, the contribution of WaterAid Rwanda will help us achieve what we are targeting by 2024,” Eng. Uwase said.

One of the modern handwashing facilities recently handed over by Water Aid Rwanda in Nyamagabe district.

 

Residents of Nyamagabe participating in the Global Handwashing Day celebrations organised by WaterAid Rwanda on October 15, 2020

 

A Woman Handwashing at a recently build public facility at Kaduha Market in Nyamagabe District, courtesy of WaterAid Rwanda.



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