Completed Projects

Mara Cell Water System Project - Rwanda

Mara Cell Water System Project - Rwanda

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This project is made possible through the partnership of WATER CHARITY and the NATIONAL PEACE CORPS ASSOCIATION.

Mara Cell Water System Project - RwandaLocation
Mara Cell, Ruhashya Sector, Huye District, Southern Province, Rwanda

Community Description
Mara cell is located in Ruhashya sector, in Huye district, in the Southern province of Rwanda. It is a hilly and mountainous area, with the cell surrounded by forested areas and valleys. It is home to approximately 3,200 people. There is one primary school, serving approximately 700 students.

Life in Mara cell is difficult. Many people live in poverty, as a majority of people do sustenance farming to make their living. Farmers cultivate plantains, beans, and corn, or herd livestock, especially cows and pigs. Mara cell is known for having the best plantains in the sector.

There is no electricity or access to a clean water source in the cell. When fetching water, it is typical to travel 2 to 3 kilometers, spending 30 minutes to an hour doing so. Often, families have to find water in neighboring cells, or they fetch unclean water from the valleys.

Every Tuesday, groups gather to save and lend money, as the cell leader explains, with the hope that all citizens may be able to buy health insurance, at a cost of 3,000 RWF ($3.85 US) per person for one year. This is one community-driven action they are doing to reduce poverty in the area.

Mara Cell Water System Project - RwandaProblem Addressed
Mara cell is the most impoverished in the sector. It is rife with malnutrition, poor hygiene, and malaria.

One of the largest problems in the cell is that there is no access to water. People living in the area must travel to neighboring cells in order to fetch water, often spending up to an hour to do so. Because fetching water takes so long and water in the community is scarce, the citizens tend to prioritize water conservation over proper sanitation and hygiene, leading to increased disease, such as worms, diarrhea, and malnutrition.

Project Description
This project is to build a water system in Mara cell.

The project has been approved by the Ruhashya Sector Office, and will be carried out under the direction of a local water engineer. It can be broken down into three parts: (1) Extending pipeline to the cell office, (2) building the water source, and (3) conducting WASH training.

1. Extending the pipeline
The water pipeline will be extended from the closest water source in the neighboring cell, Ruhashya. The pipeline will extend all the way to the cell office, a central location from which future water sources can be added.

Mara Cell Water System Project - RwandaThe Mara citizens, as part of their “umuganda,” a day of community volunteering, will use hoes, picks, and other tools they own to dig the trenches for the pipeline. The piping will then be connected and buried.

2. Building the water source
The water source will be built, under the direction of the water engineer, by Mara citizens, who will donate their time and labor. They have also committed to financing or obtaining sand and gravel on their own. Some of the funds will be used to pay for labor fees for the water engineer and his counterpart.

Water Charity funds will be used to purchase the pipes and the construction materials to build the water source.

At the completion of the water source, the water engineer will give a training on how to properly maintain the water source.

3. WASH Training
In order to address the issue of disease burden in the community, community health workers in Mara cell will attend a training on WASH so that they may be more knowledgeable in teaching this topic to their neighbors.

The training will address preventive hygiene measures that are the frequent cause of health issues in the community. It will be led by Community Health Worker supervisor and the Health Center Titulair.

Mara Cell Water System Project - RwandaMara citizens have already been sensitized to improving their health, and decreasing the disease burden is one of the benefits that can come with improved access to water. With the access to a nearby water source, they are eager to learn how they can change their behaviors.

Project Impact
3,800 people will benefit from improved access to a clean water source.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Susan Robins

Monitoring and Maintenance
The Sector Social Affairs Officer has created a plan where the citizens of Mara cell will be charged 10 RWF for a 20 L jerrycan of water. The money collected will be used for maintenance and repairs.

During the first few months, the charge will be waived in appreciation for the work and materials that they have provided.

Fundraising Target

Funds raised in excess of the project amount will be allocated to other projects in the country.

Donations Collected to Date


Donations of any amount will be appreciated. The full amount will give you "naming rights", if that is something you would like.

Dollar Amount Needed

Funds Needed : 

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