Helping Rwanda's poorest communities gain access to safe water and sanitation using appropriate, low-cost technologies.
Rwanda experienced Africa's worst genocide in modern times, caused by
ethnic tension associated with the traditionally unequal relationship
between the dominant Tutsi minority and the majority Hutus.
The country is striving to rebuild its economy, with coffee and tea production being among its main sources of foreign exchange.
A child collecting water from a muddy pond in Rwanda.
WaterAid / Zute Lightfoot
The Rwandan government has displayed a high level of commitment to
water, sanitation and hygiene. However, water and sanitation coverage is
still low and only half of the population have access to these
services. Nearly two thirds of the population live below the poverty line.
The WaterAid in Rwanda program is generously supported by the Morgan Foundation.
WaterAid's plansWe began working in Rwanda in 2009. Our first steps were to register
WaterAid and build our profile within the country. We have now
recruited a team leader who will set the strategic direction of the
In Rwanda, all intervention is coordinated by the government, who
ensure each organization is contributing to the country plans. Our
scoping study identified the following possible areas of intervention:
- Improving accessibility to water, sanitation and hygiene services:
WaterAid will develop the capacity of partner organizations to ensure
that the poorest communities are reached with appropriate low-cost and
- Sector monitoring: water and sanitation statistics differ greatly
and there is no national water point mapping or monitoring system in
Rwanda. We will work with existing organizations to develop planning,
monitoring and evaluation techniques so that we can target those
communities most in need.
- Building the technical capacity of partner organizations. Working
with and training partner organizations to enable them to use
appropriate technology solutions.
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Other main cities: Butare, Kibungo, Gisenyi
Water supply coverage
World Bank (2011) World Development Indicators database - databank.worldbank.org, WHO / UNICEF (2010) Joint Monitoring Programme (JMP) report 2010, UNDP (2011), Human Development Report 2011 NB. Official statistics tend to understate the extent of water and sanitation problems, sometimes by a large factor. There are not sufficient resources available for accurate monitoring of either population or coverage. Varying definitions of water and sanitation coverage are used and national figures mask large regional differences in coverage.
Photo: WaterAid / Zute Lightfoot