A Day Without Water

Imagine getting up tomorrow and going to the kitchen sink for a glass of water...only nothing comes out. You shuffle to the bathroom sink thinking, "There must be something wrong with the faucet," but no water is flowing there either. After trying all of the taps in your home, you realize YOU DON'T HAVE WATER! What would you do? Call the water company?! You don't have a water company.  Go to the store? Stores don't carry clean water.

But you have to shower. You have to go to work. By 5pm your toilet is backed up and creating a health hazard for your family, no one has showered, you have dirty dishes in the sink that are attracting bugs and 5 loads of laundry are waiting to be done. Oh and you haven't gone to work yet because you've had to walk to the local lake for water. You've boiled it but still aren't sure it's safe to use. What would you do? Would you drink it? You would if that's all you had...and that's exactly the situation many Rwandans are in. 

Study after study shows that access to clean water increases health, provides better sanitation & allows kids to go to school instead of spending 1/2 their day collecting water. Water is such a primary need that everything you do depends on it.

Those of us who have, and have always had, easy access to water can't fathom what it's like to go without. But that's exactly what 1 in 6 people face EVERY day. On average, women and children spend 4 hours a day collecting water to clean, bathe, drink, cook and grow food. Many times from contaminated streams and water sources.

With YOUR help we're changing that! Due to your generosity, clean water, better restroom facilities and education as to why hand washing can prevent the spread of disease is happening in communities throughout Rwanda. Thank you for helping us give the gift that truly keeps on giving: WATER.

              Visit our "Donate" page to find out how to give clean H2O!

Our First Site Visit!

Day 2 Cont-

Our first site visit is a 2011 water project in a Settlement for Widows and Orphans of the Genocide. The community was established by the Rwandan government as part of a reparation and compensation plan to help bring about healing after this 1994 tragedy. While the “orphans” are now grown, they can still live on the land. Located in the Kicukiro district, this is considered a peri-urban area but still about an hour and a half outside of Kigali, the capital of Rwanda and really the only large city in the country. (Due to the conditions and lack of available resources, most areas outside of Kigali would be considered rural to the majority of Americans.) 

As we pull up we are greeted by the local water seller, Jeanne. (Each water project has a water seller elected by the community to ensure that water is distributed fairly. Over 50% are female, which is a huge economic gain and game changer for these women as they are now part of the water conversation and have control over this essential resource.) She introduces us to the people and shows us the water taps serving the 58 families that live in this village. 

Part of the water project includes a water tap stand used to supply drinking water and rain barrel systems located throughout the village. It's amazing what water has done here in such a short time! They grow crops for use by their families with some farms yielding enough to trade/sell at the local market. Livestock such as cows, goats and chickens can be maintained and kept healthier due to a consistent source of clean, easily accessible water. And more children are attending school and looking forward to bright and prosperous futures instead of hauling water. 

For example, we met Jeanne’s granddaughter, Kevine. She is 10 years old and goes to P-6 (or 6th grade) at the local school. When asked what she wanted do when she grew up she said, “I want to be a Doctor or the Minister of Education.” I commented that I’m impressed with her ambitious goals. When asked what made her want to pursue these occupations. Kevine said she wants to help people. And that she has seen how water changed her grandmother’s, and therefore her family’s, lives: Jeanne has her own chickens, latrine, water spout and crops, and runs a village store out of a structure in her backyard. Jeanne has created numerous successful businesses as a result of clean water and investing her resources wisely. Kevine said her grandmother is a role model, and Kevine KNOWS women can obtain a good education and make a difference. 

It’s truly amazing what ONE year of clean water has done!!

Good Luck to you Kevine. We’ll be watching you and expecting great things.