Cyenkwanzi Community Water Project – Rwanda

Cyenkwanzi Village, Karama Sector, Nyagatare District, Eastern Province, Rwanda

Community Description
Although only 20 kilometers from the growing town of Nyagatare in the Eastern Province of Rwanda, the village of Cyenkwanzi lacks almost all of the amenities of town life, including electricity and access to potable water.

Leaving the hustle and bustle of town and heading west the paved road quickly gives way to a dirt track that at times is little more than a path.

Fields of bananas and sorghum are nestled against the rolling hills of Uganda that loom in the distance, which lie little a more than two hours away by foot from the village of Cyenkwanzi.

Most villagers are farmers, growing crops of sorghum, corn and beans that provide sustenance for their families rather than income.

Almost all 547 houses are made of mud bricks with simple corrugated tin roofs and wooden doors and shutters. The grounds around the houses are perfectly kept.

The village appears to be decades old, but in fact is fairly new, established only in 1998 with the assistance of UNHCR as part of a national policy to move people from scattered settlements into more localized villages. The intention was to make it easier to deliver basic services.

Houses are now closer together, creating a greater sense of community, but in Cyenkwanzi, as in some other villages in rural parts of Rwanda, basic services are still not accessible.

At present, the majority of villagers get water from a river approximately 2 kilometers from the village. Along its journey from high in the Ugandan mountains, the river becomes saturated with pollutants. The river serves as a watering ground for animals, a convenient place to bathe and wash clothing, and an inevitable collection site of farm runoff.

Although public health campaigns in the area have taught people about the potential health hazards of drinking such contaminated water, as well as the importance of boiling it prior to consumption, villagers often have little choice but to drink the brown water untreated.

Project Description
This project will provide a centrally located water tap in the village.

This will be accomplished by building an extension of the pipe system from a private home with an existing water tap (the only one in the village) to the center of town, where it can be accessed by all.

Community members have agreed to provide the owner with a small compensation for access to his pipe system and to provide all the necessary labor through ‘umuganda’ which is the national community work day.

Project Impact
Successful completion of the project will dramatically alter the quality of life for all members of Cyenkwanzi village, approximately 547 households and over 2,000 people.

Peace Corps Volunteer Directing Project
Jennifer Causton

Through this project, villagers will gain access to a cleaner, more reliable and more convenient water source, reducing their exposure to contaminants as well as the amount of time and effort it takes to fetch water.

Dollar Amount of Project

Donations Collected to Date

Dollar Amount Needed
$0.00 – This project has now 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 Jennifer Causton of your donation. Additional funds will be used to fund the next project by Jennifer and/or those of her counterpart PCVs in Rwanda.

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