For water services to be sustainable, local leadership is key. Without it, communities like Ntayba in Rulindo District, Rwanda wouldn’t be able to count on water that would flow for generations to come.
Before August 2016, the only water the community members in Ntayba knew was more than an hour away, and it was from an unprotected source. When their new community tap stand was completed as part of a new piped water system, life changed completely.
“Having water nearby our homes has helped us so much,” says Marie Claire Mukayiranga, the president of Ntyaba’s water users’ committee. “We used to spend about one and a half hours traveling to fetch water from an unprotected source and fetched at least twice a day.”
Marie was voted president of the water users’ committee by the community members, and she says she couldn’t betray the trust they placed in her.
“The committee is very important, because it is hard to convince people about new practices,” Marie says. As the president, Marie promotes behavior change and sensitizes community members about water usage practices – such as cleaning and maintaining the water point, practicing good hygiene, and why it is important to clean water containers and boil drinking water.