I have bitter-sweet news to share. Victor, our Water Program Manager in Rwanda recently accepted an offer to work for the World Food Programme in Rwanda. For the last 3 years, Victor has done amazing work and has put in place systems that will keep making us better at providing clean water, even in his absence. His leadership and keen organizational mind brought so many large and small improvements to our work that it’s hard to even begin to name them. He found matching funds to help provide bicycles to our volunteers in Juru, he found cost savings that helped provide dozens of extra tanks and filters that we didn’t think we could afford. He helped us gather stories and pictures from the field so we could stay connected to the work. Most importantly, he leveraged local expertise so that more of the solutions and decisions could come from Rwanda instead of the US. All I can say is that the World Food Programme just gained a huge asset and I know Victor will continue to make Rwanda a better place to call home.
Please join us in praying for the search for Victor’s replacement. And we’ll be sure to keep you updated as we welcome a new member to our team in Rwanda.
Rwanda Program Report – June 2018
In the month of June, the Water Project focused on building Rain Water Harvest Systems at three churches, one in each of the following sectors: Gashora, Mwogo, and Ntarama. This was more systems than had been originally planned. The Water Project had additional funds to build Rain Water Harvest Systems because of contributions from local communities who had saved money for this purpose.
Distribution of Household Filters in the Biryogo cell of Gashora Sector continued but at a much slower pace than intended. Only 8 filters were distributed instead of the 80 planned distributions. The recipient households in this area live very close to the river and therefore have been selected to receive Slow Sand Filters, which require much more sand to assemble – and therefore much more water to properly prepare the sand. In addition, the sand is considerably heavy, making transporting the filters to recipient households much more complicated. Despite these challenges, we believe we have found solutions. Beneficiaries are now assisting in the transportation of sand and enough sand was prepared for filters to be distributed in July and August. As always, recipients were also trained on filter maintenance and use as they were installed with their families.
There were 427 home visits conducted by staff and volunteers in the month of June, along with checks to 19 SAM2 Community Filters. During visits volunteers support in back washing and any minor repairs are done. There are no bigger issues in the use of filters observed during home visits.
Our team also participated in community mobilization activities. A one day meeting was organized with the Church Network Committee, volunteers, and local leaders from Gahanga Sector in Kicukiro District to discuss on how additional SAM3 filters will be distributed. The meeting discussed the distribution plan, and involvement of all concerned people to ensure that there is smooth distribution.