In the lush rolling hills of southern Rwanda, you wouldn’t think water was a problem. But access to safe drinking water is a real issue to local communities. In the village of Nyabisindu, there are only two sources of piped water – one tap in the grounds of the local church and one tap at a water house which charges 20 Rwandan francs (2 pence) for each 20 litres of water.
This piped water isn’t always available as the water often doesn’t flow. Many villagers can’t even afford to spend 20 francs on water and resort to fetching dirty water from surrounding swaps or wells. This leads to health problems including intestinal worms, cholera and other water-related diseases.
The Compassion project at the local church also faced challenges of getting safe water in time to prepare the children’s meals. Muragizi Faustin, Project Director, said, “Whenever there was no piped water at the church, we would hire people to fetch water from the community borehole in order to prepare meals for the children on Saturdays. But this was a challenge because those who fetched the water would take a long time to bring it due to the long queues at the community borehole. This would consequently delay the children’s meals and activities.”
Thanks to the generous donations of Compassion supporters, funds were raised to build a water collection facility and 10,000 litre water tank at the local Compassion project. This has allowed the local church to not only ensure that Compassion-supported children received access to safe drinking water, the children’s families and community have also benefitted.
Muragizi says, “Today they look cleaner and no longer come to the project to beg for drinking water. Instead, they give clean drinking water to their neighbours and friends. We no longer have as many cases of intestinal worms and skin diseases as before.”
Twelve-year-old Emmanuel lives with his widowed mother near the church. “I always had flu and coughs but now not anymore,” he says. His mother adds, “I used to send my children to fetch water for the home but had to wait for them to first come back from school. Now the church helps me and allows us to get water from the tank.”
Boys from the project enjoying the safe drinking water.
The difference which safe water can make to a child in poverty is huge. Not only has this new water tank helped the local community with their health, it’s also given back the children their time as they no longer need to collect water from the surrounding swamps. So on World Water Day, we want to say thank you to all of our supporters. All of this is only possible because of you.