Water Projects in Rwanda are Still Needed
While much progress has been made in recent years, there is still a significant need for water projects in Rwanda. Living in a small land-locked country, half of the population still lacks access to clean water.1 Many of them walk 30 minutes to collect water, and even if water is easily accessible it’s often unsafe to drink and leads to waterborne diseases.2
Most people in Rwanda live in rural areas and drink untreated water, such as surface water from lakes, ponds and rivers.3 Such water can contain fecal matter, arsenic and other pollutants. These pollutants are more prevalent in rainy seasons, when they are more easily transported due to the country’s lack of storm water protection systems.4
According to Springer Link,
Sanitation is also affected by the lack of water. Proper hand washing is proven to be essential for good health and preventing the spread of various illnesses, yet only 5 percent of Rwandan households have a place to wash their hands.6
The lack of clean water, poor sanitation and poor hygiene are major factors in the high rates of child disease and death in Rwanda.7 Diarrheal diseases, commonly caused by unsafe drinking water, are among the leading causes of death for children under the age of 5 in the country.8 These diseases deplete the body’s fluids. Since children have higher metabolisms and their bodies contain proportionately more water than adults, they are particularly vulnerable to such diseases.9 As a result, worldwide 446,000 children under the age of 5 die every year from diarrhea.10
Already struggling with water scarcity, the demand for water in Rwanda is only growing with its rapid population growth.11 The Borgen Project says, “The country is on pace to double its already large population in just 24 years.”12 This growth is sure to strain the country’s limited resources, including water. Perhaps the need in Rwanda for water projects is greater than ever.
GFA World has recently begun helping the impoverished children of Rwanda through GFA World’s Child Sponsorship Program. This program empowers children, their families and their communities through various community development projects. For example, GFA World installs Jesus Wells in communities that need clean water. These wells, dug deep below the surface, can offer life-giving water year-round to approximately 300 people.
1 “Solving Rwanda’s water problems.” Eco Africa. https://www.dw.com/en/solving-rwandas-water-problems/av-57307355. April 23, 2021.
2 “Water, sanitation and hygiene.” UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/rwanda/water-sanitation-and-hygiene. Accessed October 5, 2021.
3 Thomas, Evan; Jean De Dieu Ngirabega & Thomas Clasen. “Lessons from Rwanda on tackling unsafe drinking water and household air pollution.” The Conversation. https://theconversation.com/lessons-from-rwanda-on-tackling-unsafe-drinking-water-and-household-air-pollution-125405. February 24, 2020.
4 Rubini, Andrea & Sarah Uwimana. “Blog: Water Supply Shortage in Rwanda.” AfriAlliance. https://afrialliance.org/knowledge-hub/afrialliance-blog/blog-water-supply-shortage-rwanda. Accessed October 5, 2021.
5 Valentine Mukanyandwi, Alishir Kurban, Egide Hakorimana, Lamek Nahayo, Gabriel Habiyaremye, Aboubakar Gasirabo & Theoneste Sindikubwabo. “Seasonal assessment of drinking water sources in Rwanda using GIS, contamination degree (Cd), and metal index (MI).” Springer Link. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10661-019-7757-9. November 9, 2019.
6 “Water, sanitation and hygiene.” UNICEF. https://www.unicef.org/rwanda/water-sanitation-and-hygiene. Accessed October 5, 2021.
7 “Water: Rwanda.” World Vision. https://www.worldvisionphilanthropy.org/hubfs/All%20Newsletters/Water/docs/Water_Rwanda_Offer.pdf. November 2018.
8 Thomas, Evan; Jean De Dieu Ngirabega & Thomas Clasen. “Lessons from Rwanda on tackling unsafe drinking water and household air pollution.” https://theconversation.com/lessons-from-rwanda-on-tackling-unsafe-drinking-water-and-household-air-pollution-125405. February 24, 2020.
9 Holt, Palmer. “Dying of Thirst: The Global Water Crisis.” GFA World. https://www.gfa.org/special-report/dying-of-thirst-global-water-crisis/#original . March 1, 2019.
10 “Global WASH Fast Facts.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthywater/global/wash_statistics.html. Accessed October 5, 2021.
11 Rubini, Andrea & Sarah Uwimana. “Blog: Water Supply Shortage in Rwanda.” AfriAlliance. https://afrialliance.org/knowledge-hub/afrialliance-blog/blog-water-supply-shortage-rwanda. Accessed October 5, 2021.
12 Akbary, Samira. “Overpopulation in Rwanda.” Borgen Project. https://borgenproject.org/overpopulation-in-rwanda/. October 23, 2020.