Conclusion of Saburunduru and Kinyaga Water Project – Rwanda
The project was to rebuild a concrete tap that was in disrepair, and connect it to the water source.
The completed Saburunduru and Kinyaga Villages Water Project was extremely successful.
Community participation was vital to this project, and citizens proved themselves to be dedicated and enthusiastic about improving their water source. Participants in umuganda, the traditional monthly community work day whereby men and women come together to improve infrastructure in their respective villages, prepared the water site by working hard to dig to the natural source of the water and remove the old piping and cement. This took 3 full days of work.
The first glimpse of clear water running from the pipe caused a round of applause from laborers and onlookers, and within hours of completion there were lines of children with jerry cans waiting patiently to collect water!
Emma reports on the extra benefits achieved:
In addition to the intended benefit of widening community access to potable water, we found that because we built a stable run-off canal for excess water, surrounding crops are now being irrigated more efficiently.
A simple 10-day project like this one also creates a brief but reliable employment opportunity for laborers. During the current 3 month dry season when crop products are not as substantial, an additional burden is placed on a community already struggling with poverty. The existence of a project helps to supplement income for participants.
Emma reports about the reception the project received and the gratitude of the community:
I’ve been told that upwards of 100 women and children per day are using the pipe, and in passing, I consistently see people collecting water.
Community members are still approaching me and thanking me for “bringing them water.” I respond in my less than perfect Kinyarwanda that it was they who made it possible and saw the project through to completion. It wouldn’t have been possible without their enthusiasm and genuine pride in their community.
We again extend our thanks to James Williams and Felicia Draper, of San Francisco, CA, who funded this great project in honor of the memory of Alison Des Forges.