According to the most recent Joint Monitoring Program (JMP) Report by UNICEF and WHO, in Rwanda 76% of people in urban areas and 63% in rural areas have access to safe water. These numbers, low as they are, still considerably overestimate water coverage in the country: they do not take into consideration the number of users per water point, accessibility throughout the year, or water quality. Access to sanitation is lower, with an estimated 52% of urban and 56% of rural dwellers using improved sanitation facilities.
In June 2008, Water For People opened an office in Kigali, Rwanda’s capital and largest city. Since then, Water For People–Rwanda has worked with various stakeholders to determine how best to provide sustainable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene education. Because of the disparity between urban and rural coverage, Water For People–Rwanda has focused its work on the districts of Kicukiro and Rulindo.
Everyone Forever in Rwanda
Everyone Forever is a unique programmatic effort to provide water and sanitation to Everyone in targeted districts and municipalities, Forever. It means these districts and communities never again need another international water agency to address their water challenges. And it provides a model for greater replication, leading to a push for national full water and sanitation coverage. Water For People-Rwanda is focusing its Everyone Forever efforts in Kicukiro and Rulindo.
The rural district of Rulindo is one of five districts in the North Province. It occupies an area of 567 square kilometers, with a total population of approximately 285,000. The district is divided into 17 sectors, further divided into 71 cells and 494 villages, or imidugudu. Rulindo is composed of steep hills and valleys, and most villages extend from ridgetops to valley bottoms. Springs and rivers are typical water sources. According to data from a recent hydraulic study commissioned by Rulindo in 2011, approximately 30% of people have access to water that meets government standards.
Kicukiro District is located southeast of Kigali and is home to approximately 255,000 people. This semi–urban district has rolling hills and the main water sources are streams, rivers, and groundwater. With the support of Water For People-Rwanda, Kicukiro is close to full water coverage in communities, but work still needs to be done to increase access in schools and health clinics.
Lasting water and sanitation solutions can only be achieved when local role-players—the private sector, civil society, and local government—are supported. As such, Water For People is deeply involved with key local stakeholders, including district governments; the national Ministries of Health, Infrastructure, and Environment and Land; the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority; and local NGOs Global Environment Care and the Rwandan Organization for Solidarity and Development.
Work in 2012
In 2012, Water For People–Rwanda is continuing to work toward increasing water coverage in the districts of Rulindo and Kicukiro. In Rulindo, Water For People-Rwanda, together with partners, is completing a water extension system that will serve 28 communities, one health clinic, and one school and is in the beginning phases of implementing two additional water extension systems that will serve 25 communities. All of these water systems will be managed by a private operator who will be selected by the district through a tender process. In Kicukiro, Water For People–Rwanda is working with the district and EWSA to provide access to safe drinking water for 17 communities. In addition, Water For People–Rwanda plans to work in 10 schools in Rulindo and Kicukiro.