The Water Crisis in Rwanda
Since the genocide in 1994, Rwanda's economy has grown dramatically, showing inspiring signs of development. However, nearly two in three people live in poverty and millions still lack safe water and basic toilets. The Rwandan government is committed to providing water and sanitation, and this political will is crucial. Yet millions still remain unserved, with over a third of the population lacking access to safe water.
More Water Facts
- 35% of the population has no access to a safe water supply and almost half of the people in Rwanda have no toilet. This has a huge impact on health and infant mortality in the country.
- 3.4 million people in Rwanda don't have access to safe water. This is three tenths of the population.
- Over 4 million people don't have access to adequate sanitation in Rwanda, over a third of the population.
- Over 3,000 children die every year from diarrhea caused by unsafe water and poor sanitation in Rwanda.
The Water4 Solution in Rwanda
Water Access Rwanda started operations with a 13-well pilot project that provided water wells for residents who live around crocodile-infested lakes in two districts of Rwanda, where in 2013 alone, six deaths were reported. In the spring of 2014, Water4 trained Rwandan scholars at Oklahoma Christian University, who then transferred their knowledge to 10 Rwandan young people during a summer-long apprenticeship. Water Access Rwanda is now a youth-led social enterprise that focuses on supplying Rwanda with clean and accessible water using the Water4 method.
The vision of WARwanda is to be a financially viable and sustainable company in Rwanda offering affordable clean water solutions and establishing highest standards for manually drilled boreholes.
WARwanda now consists of four highly trained manual drillers who are graduates of the apprenticeship. They also participated in level-two training with Water4 staff in December 2014, and received additional in-country training in January 2015. Mechanical Engineer Christelle Kwizera leads Water Access Rwanda with passion and upholds the highest level of ethics. She is a rising leader and social entrepreneur, and recipient of the 2014 MILEAD Fellowship Award. Under her leadership, Water Access Rwanda is now working towards its goals to:
- drill at least 20 wells in 2015
- master VES Geological surveying techniques that will help drill teams know where to drill
- reach communities in mountainous areas with micron filters
WARwanda partners with local authorities and community health workers to educate well beneficiaries on proper hygiene practices and ensure well sustainability. They also partner with the government for water quality testing of drilled wells.