Bringing Clean Water to 2,000 Co-op Members!
“My words are not enough to express my gratitude to generous people who provided this support to people like us who are in such a remote village. Some of us were almost giving up upon drinking water as we were told that unclean water causes a lot of health problems. We had no choice between dying of thirst and dying of diseases from unclean water. You understood that we preferred to die of those diseases as this is a slow death rather than dying of the thirst as this is a quick death. Thank you for saving us from this terrible situation.” – Marie Therese (Twisungane)
Most of the cooperatives we work with struggle to get clean water to drink. Many walk a long way to get their water. Even if they have a local source, the water is usually unclean. Some boil their water, but this takes time and is expensive, considering the cost of buying charcoal or firewood to heat the water. Very few of our co-op members can afford this, so people drink unclean water from the swamps or rivers which causes a high incidence of water-borne diseases. Providing clean water to such a community is fundamental to their health and well-being.
World Dance for Humanity brought 200 filters to Rwanda in July of 2018 that were generously donated by Clean Water Ambassador Foundation, facilitated by Harriet Eckstein and Alan Irwin. One filter will serve 10 people (a total of 2,000 people) for about three years. The filters were given to 9 of our 25 cooperatives which were the ones identified as those with the biggest water problems: Abadacogora, Abishyizehamwe, Dufatanye, Komera, Kungabu, Tubehotwese, Twirererabana, Twisungane, and Umunezero.
The distribution of the filters and the accompanying training took about a month and was completed in November of 2018. It was led by Clement Mugisha (Clean Water Ambassador – Rwanda) and Justin Bisengimana (WD4H’s Rwanda Program Director), with assistance from Allison O’Brien (WD4H volunteer in Rwanda) and other members of our Rwanda Team.
WD4H raised $1,482 from our supporters for distribution and training. The funds were used to purchase 200 large buckets for filtration, provide a stipend for Clement (pictured right), and cover transport costs for the distribution team.
The training covered:
- Why and how the filter works
- Proper installation of the filters
- Regular cleaning of the filters
- Protection and care of all parts of the filter
Prior to distribution, the co-op members had worked together to decide which families would receive the filters. One family is keeping the filter at their home and sharing it with three or four other families in their neighborhood who bring jerry cans to fill.
Click here to see Training & Thank You Videos!
(Captions by Justin Bisengimana – if you’re not seeing them, click CC, lower right corner of screen)
The co-ops are so grateful for this tremendous resource in their lives!
Here is what they have to say:
Venathie (Twirererabana): “It is very true that some of us were almost giving up upon drinking water. This system we are getting will stimulate our desire to drink water. It looks very clean and fancy, we will love drinking water from it. We thank you for your money to buy it but most importantly for your love which led you to being so mindful of us this much.”
Vestine (Abishyizehamwe): “Life does not always require big things to be transformed. The water filters are going to completely change our lives. We are going to be clean water experts in our community, what a great value we will have! On behalf of my group, I thank generous people, Clean Water Ambassadors who donated these filters through Harriet and our sisters at WD4H). I’m very optimistic that next time you are here, you will see another big change in us!”
Bellancille (Twisungane): “We know that a lot of illnesses we face in the village have roots in the lack of clean water. We knew that from the beginning, but we had nothing to do about it. We kept drinking unclean water as we had no choice on affordability and accessibility of clean water. Resolving the clean water crisis will help solve these health problems!”
Beatrice (Abishyizehamwe): “We told the trainers about how we used to get water to drink. You have understood how we put our health to a big risk from drinking unclean water. We cannot find what to say to the people who helped solve such a big problem in our lives. We thank our donors and friends for having thought about us to this extent. Together, our lives will get better in a sustainable way.”
Fabienne (woman with blue cup – Twirererabana): “We can simply tell you how our lives are going to change. Thank you so much for making this possible in our lives. We will be thinking of you every time a clean water drops into our cup!”