Cyahinda Secondary School Water Project – Rwanda

Cyahinda Sector, Southern Province, Rwanda

Community Description
Cyahinda is a small sector located in the Southern Province of Rwanda near the border of Burundi. The sector is part of the only district in Rwanda without electricity, and is quite isolated from the nearest towns.

90% of citizens are subsistence farmers, surviving solely on what they can grow on small plots of land. Despite almost universal poverty, Cyahinda’s people are welcoming and friendly, and never hesitate to share what they have.

There is no running water and people spend a significant amount of time fetching potable water to use in their homes.

A few months ago, community members saw the positive effects of a previous Water Charity project which installed a safe water source for two villages in Cyahinda sector, Saburunduru and Kinyaga, Saburunduru and Kinyaga Water Project – Rwanda, which was completed under the direction of Peace Corps Volunteer Emma Gring.

The community supports the Groupe Scolaire Secondary School, which currently has over 770 students. However, supplying safe water for the students is the greatest challenge. A recently installed rainwater catchment system at the school helps, but remains insufficient to support the students’ basic needs, such as washing, drinking, and bathing.

The neighboring health center has a large brick and cement tank, connected to piping which brings water from a mountaintop spring. The school previously used this for a water supply, but it has fallen into such disrepair that it can no longer be used safely. Broken piping prevents water from flowing into the tank from the supplying spring. Leaks and eroding cement waste what little water can be stored.

If rain is scarce, or absent in the dry season, students have no choice but to use the stagnant water that has been festering in the tank for weeks.

A recent school-wide health survey showed over half the students suffering from stomach illnesses like worms and diarrhea at least once per trimester. Students have not been able to wash their hands after using the latrine. Also, many reported that they went an entire day without a drink of water because they were afraid of becoming ill and having to go to the health center.

Failing to wash hands after using the latrine spreads illness. Insufficient drinking water in the hot season causes dehydration and exhaustion. All of these health issues negatively impact their studies and their well-being.

Project Description
This project is to bring a safe and reliable water supply to the school.

First, the tank will be restored to full functionality. This immediate action will avoid a much more costly tank reconstruction.

The entire tank will be re-cemented on the inside to repair the leaks. This will include the foundation, which has the biggest leak impeding water storage.

Damaged and broken piping will be replaced with that of higher quality to ensure that the spring water is able to flow into the tank continuously, and thus avoid stagnancy.

Estimated completion time is one week. Once the work is completed, refresher sessions will be conducted for the students and staff on the subjects of water safety, the importance of hand washing, and avoiding illness.

Another health survey will be conducted 3-6 months after completion, to evaluate whether the illness has been reduced and access to drinking and bathing water increased.

Project Impact
This project will benefit 1,050 people, including 770 current students, an additional 230 students who will arrive next trimester, and 50 staff and teachers.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Emma Gring

This project achieves a great impact per dollar spent by restoring existing facilities that had fallen into disrepair. Once repaired, the tank and piping can be maintained to ensure continued functionality.

The inclusion of educational and evaluation components in the project will ensure that the project met expectations, and will provide a basis for embarking on further water and sanitation projects to benefit the health of the students and the community at large.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed

$0.00 – This project has been fully funded, through the generosity of The Soneva SLOW LIFE Trust as a part of their Clean Water Projects initiative.

We encourage others to continue to donate using the Donate button below, and we will notify Peace Corps Volunteer Emma Gring of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Emma and/or those other PCVs in the country of service.

This project has been finished. To read about the conclusion of the project, CLICK HERE.