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Water For People Completes First Year of USAID Grant in Rwanda as part of U.S. Global Water Strategy


Water For People completed year one of a five-year project funded by USAID to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) service delivery in rural Rwanda. This system-strengthening, in partnership with the government of Rwanda and now enshrined as a key part of the new U.S. Global Water Strategy, aims to improve water, sanitation, and hygiene governance, services, and products in rural Rwanda where only 57 percent of the population has access to safe drinking water within 30 minutes of their home. When it comes to sanitation services, only 64% of the population has access, and only 5% of households have a place for members to wash their hands with soap.

In this first year of work for the Isoko y’Ubuzima project, which means "source of life" in Kinyarwanda, the following has been accomplished:

  • Governmental employees at the national level have been trained on gender and social inclusion mainstreaming when planning for district-wide infrastructure or new systems.
  • Female entrepreneurs have been trained in leadership to build capacity in business management in sanitation and water professions.
  • School hygiene clubs have been established in more than 300 schools to promote sanitation practices among the next generation with almost 2,000 students involved.
  • Public buildings have been identified for conversion into District Sanitation Centers where information and materials can be accessed more easily in rural districts.
  • Social Behavior Change initiatives have been rolled out at the community level to change sanitation and hygiene practices.

"Building water supply infrastructure and strengthening the capacity of institutions to manage them efficiently and sustainably are equally important to address the inequity that results from water insecurity. Isoko y’Ubuzima establishes partnerships with both governmental and non-governmental water institutions and works to strengthen their capacity to improve the governance for better water services in communities . "- Kurt S. Henne, Chief of Party of the Isoko y’Ubuzima project.

Earlier this year, Water For People joined representatives of the White House in discussions that eventually led to the first-ever action plan on Global Water Security. The plan emphasizes the importance of affordable and sustainable WASH services, locally-led solutions, and addressing the inequity that results from water insecurity. Connecting water insecurity threats to U.S. national security, the White House action plan outlines strategic pillars and resources to advance sustainable access to WASH worldwide.

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