In September 2018, Gashora water team worked hard to continue distributing Slow Sand Filters. The installation of slow sand fiters in Gashora sector required more time than expected because less water was available due to less rain. As a solution, volunteers in other sectors were mobilized to sift and wash enough sand to support Gashora in order to distributed a good number of slow sand filters. It is planned also a meeting with Gashora water team during the month of October to discuss on the strategies of speeding up the distribution of slow sand filters. Despite these challenges, 76 slow sand filters were distributed to households in the villages of Rugunga and Buhoro, in the Gashora sector. While distribution was taking place, recipients were then trained on how to maintain their slow sand filters and were given trainings on hygiene and sanitation.
During September, home visits were performed in the sectors of Juru, Mwogo and Ntarama and Gahanga. During these home visits, water project volunteers supported households with SAM3 filters in maintenance and backwashing. They also reminded beneficiaries of SAM3 to share with neighbors who have no filters to have safe drinking water. In total, 516 SAM3 filters were visited and checked by water project volunteers and no major issue was reported.
Water project volunteers also visited 19 schools and health centers with SAM2 filters for checking their functionality and supporting the users on maintenance. The activity was done in the sectors of Gahanga, Juru, Mwogo and Ntarama. Water project volunteers were supported by the Project technical assistant for conducting general backwashing and maintenance as well as repairing filters. Water Project volunteers also visited 25 Rain Water Harvesting systems in Mwogo, Juru and Ntarama.
All visited facilities are well functioning except 1 SAM2 filter which was installed at Gashanga Primary and Secondary School in Juru sector which was found damaged beyond repair. After realizing this, water project team members increased mobilization meetings with school heads for protecting the installed facilities. Students must be trained by teachers on the use of safe drinking water and help them to use this safe water at school and home in order to create the ownership of installed SAM2 filters by teachers and students, therefore avoiding damaging these facilities.
World Relief phased out activity in the sectors of Juru and Mwogo at the end of September 2018. For Water Project, as the distributed filters work for 10 years, meetings were organized with water project volunteers, Church Network Committee members, representatives from Heath Clinics or Schools with SAM2 Community Filters, and local government leaders to discuss the impact on the Water Project. During these meetings, it was realized that volunteers are well organized, highly skilled, and have a continuing commitment to do home visits and maintenance and service checks at institutions with SAM2 and Rain Water Harvest Systems. Volunteers plan to continue their work and will be meeting on monthly basis for experience sharing and learning. Church Network Committee members committed to conduct quarterly meetings to evaluate the work of volunteers and make decisions accordingly. Finally, the Water Project staff will continue to keep a good communication with Church Network Committee members and volunteers in order to provide support when needed to ensure the functionality and sustainability of the installed SAM3, SAM2 and Rain Water Harvest Systems in the sectors of Mwogo and Juru.