Nkomero Cell Water Project – Rwanda
This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.
This project summary has been redacted for security reasons to omit the specific project location.
Xxxxxxxx Village, Nkomero Cell, Mukingo Sector, Nyanza District, Southern Province, Rwanda
Between 1996 and 2013, Action Aid – a program of USAID, provided water access to Nkomero Cell from Nyakokoma mountain via pipes, tanks and taps, a distance of approximately 2 kilometers.
In 2013, a new hospital was built a few kilometers away and the water was rerouted to the new hospital, depleting water access from Nkomero cell. As a result, the existing infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and is going unused.
This project will focus on the two villages where the pipes directly run through – Yyyyyyy and Xxxxxxxx. Xxxxxxxx village is located at the center of Nkomero cell.
In total Nkomero cell contains 10 villages. In the central village Xxxxxxxx, there are many facilities central to the cell, Including: Nkomero Primary School (1268 students), Nkomero Secondary School (512 students), a poste de sante (small health clinic), police station, and cell office.
All the facilities have tanks that fill up during the rainy season, but during the dry season water access becomes a major issue. Once the water from the rainy season is depleted, the police station, school, and health center, along with all the community members must rely on fetching water.
The distance to the closest water source, streams that run at the bottom of the valley, imposes a significant burden on women and girls who are the primary water carriers for their families. The cost of hiring someone is 3,000 francs a month for one jerry can a day but most families use up to 3 jerry cans a day, making this not feasible. (A cow alone drinks one jerry can a day.)
During the dry season students are often required to fetch water during school so that the school kitchen will have enough water to cook the daily meal. This job is divided amongst classes so as to minimize time out of the classroom but the head teacher estimated that students are losing about an hour a week from fetching water.
Students fetch water during the day for the cooks to cook and clean the school with only. There is no water for the students to drink regularly during the day nor to use to wash their hands. Hygiene and water are directly linked. Fetching water is also incredibly time consuming. Both villages are densely populated and this causes high congestion even at the existing places where water is accessed.
This project is to provide a water system to serve the villages of Xxxxxxxx and Yyyyyyy.
Nkomero cell, located in the southern region of Rwanda, contains 10 villages. The project will target two villages with existing piping and tanks. The village of Xxxxxxxx is home to approximately 667 people and Yyyyyyy, the neighboring village, is home to approximately 867 people who do not have accessible, clean water.
These two villages were chosen as a priority because the first village, Yyyyyyy is where the water source is located, and Xxxxxxxx is located at the center of the cell containing facilities used by all other villages including a small health center, two schools and a police station.
In addition, there is an existing main water line from the Nyakokoma mountain through the villages to E.S. Nkomero Secondary School. The project will build a secure water source in Yyyyyyy Mountain, 2 kilometers from Nkomero center.
The construction of the water source uses local techniques to first dig a trench then install a plastic sheet to collect water from the mountain. The filtration process consists of using local materials such as small rocks, charcoal and sand. The water will be collected at the source and confined in a nearby catchment which will be attached to the repaired main pipe line.
Beyond Yyyyyyy and Xxxxxxxx village, the project will have even farther-reaching effects because students come from all over Nkomero cell to attend school in Xxxxxxxx at E.S. Nkomero Primary and Secondary School. Often in the rainy season students living in various villages outside of Xxxxxxxx will bring a container to school and fill up their small container at the end of the day, if there is water in the rain tank, to take back to their families.
When there is more consistent water access at the school students who live in communities without water access can continue to support their families. While this project focuses on two villages, it provides support for the entire cell.
The project will be completed over the course of 3 months. Implementation of the water infrastructure is below.
Month 1: Site installation – engineer planning, purchasing and delivery of materials; Labor- excavation and backfilling of 1.5km, laying of pipes
Month 2: Labor- excavation and backfilling of 1.5km, laying of pipes,
Month 3: Labor- excavation and backfilling of 1.5km, laying of pipes, construction of manhole and tap, site cleaning
There are a number of expected and potential challenges. A majority of labor will be completed during umuganda. This will occur about twice a week. Unforeseeable circumstances like rain or low attendance may occur. Supervision and project management on these days will be vital.
The project will also involve coordination between a number of people including the PCV, engineer/technician, cell officials, village officials and the Head Teacher.
Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Monitoring and Maintenance
The community leaders have come together and decided that guards will be secured in each village. These guards will be villagers but they will change every so often.
In addition, there will be talks lead by local leaders to reinforce the importance of water access within the community and the roles that each village can play in making this a safe and healthy environment for everyone. A committee will also be elected by the community to protect and preserve the community project.
Water access in the village affects every aspect of life. It means healthier villagers, cleaner homes, and less time and energy spent on gaining access to an essential resource. This project will also profoundly support the efforts of the local school and poste de santé.
Water is imperative for hygiene at the poste de santé which services many villagers who cannot get to the hospital or larger health center. The poste de santé also sets an example for hygiene and water hydration.
The school will also greatly benefit from water access – students will no longer have to miss school to fetch water. The water is used to make lunch. Greater access means that students can drink water during the day. They can wash their hands. And clean the classrooms.
The head teacher of E.S. Nkomero also pointed out the importance of the school garden. Currently the land by the school is going unused because there is not enough water but when there is enough water the students and school staff can work together to grow many different types of crops. This can assist with school lunches and help to decrease the price of lunch, which at 4,000 francs a month, is a financial burden on many families.
Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.
Donations Collected to Date
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Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you “naming rights”, if that is something you would like.
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