ORIGINAL PROJECT IN THE VILLAGE OF MWOGO, RWANDA
A deep well is urgently needed to serve a Christian school and the surrounding community.
The current school population is 215 students, 20 staff. (The student population will rise to 500.) Plus the local community.
The surrounding community is sprawling. The number of people in the most local service area: 1000 to be served.
Mwogo School Campus
Water storage tank. Currently, they must truck the water in.
A borehole is most urgently needed at the school, but it could not be done previously, because they did not own the school. Now they own the property.
Currently, the school must purchase water. It lasts for 4 days (30 cu liters) and costs $30. They have to buy it from a water truck, (at $150 per month, minimum) and store it in a tank.
This quantity really isn’t sufficient for their needs either, such as all floors are not mopped, etc.
The town is Mwogo. The homes are mud houses, and the families who live here are a marginalized, vulnerable people group with a high vulnerable children rate.
This is part of the selection process for where schools become established, to serve those in the greatest need.
These are few local water sources for the people.
1. There is an open pipe located about a mile from the from the village. This pipe runs under the road, allowing water to move under the road and cars not to drive through water. The water is flowing downhill. The people use funnels to capture this polluted water into their yellow jerry cans.
2. There is a swampy area about 2 km from the village. People collect water here for drinking, cooking, laundry, and bathing.
But there is no local clean water source. The people suffer from worms, hookworms, typhoid, cholera, diarrhea, & skin problems due to lack of access to clean water. What a blessing it will be to bring clean water to the school, so the kids can have abundant clean water, to support their health, and to do well in and out of school!
As a part of [Heaven’s Family’s] process, we require all of our ministry partners to agree to prepare for and manage any future maintenance on the well. The receiving partner ministry may take on the responsibility and/or they may create a water commission, have community meetings, and have the community agree to contribute in some way according to ability.
Future maintenance meetings with the benefiting community are held. It is very important that the local people know that this is ‘their’ well. When they know they have ownership, they will work to take care of it as best they can. The whole community agrees how best to manage the water asset. Often times very small fees are charged for the future management of the well, but the process varies from place to place. Here with this particular project, the school will direct the management. The plan is to have a small, fractional fee (not yet decided) as approved by the leadership so the community may contribute to future well maintenance. We work to educate partners to understand self-sufficiency better.
This will be a complex project, costing a total of $18,500. The deep borehole, electric pump and storage tank will be funded by ILW’s $15,000 donation, and Heaven’s Family will provide $3,500 from general funds. On top of that joint effort, a community kiosk will be built, to more efficiently serve water to the community by providing a separate access point from the school grounds. Heaven’s Family will raise an addiontal $10,000 to fund that kiosk.
The well will provide clean water to drink, improve health and will benefit the school, outreach programs done from the school such as Bible study outreach, food-related sustainability projects at the school to help feed the students, and also the community will benefit with clean water to drink vs. the contaminated water sources they must all currently use. The well will end the hour of time it takes simply to fetch water and they will have access to water year round.
A well will be transformational for the community and the people will see the love of Jesus.
Testimonies of the Challenges of Water in Mwogo
A story of Teresie:
She is called Nyirahabimana Teresie. She lives in Gatwe village and Bitaba cell. She is a mother of 5 children. Odile Munezero is a sponsored student in Cindi’s Hope Mwogo and she is among those 5 children.
To get water, they walk 2 kilometers to and from. It is very dirty water but they cook with it, they wash clothes with it, and they even drink it. In summer sometimes they even lack it completely when the swamps dry up.
This family and the population in this village undergo many problems and challenges like diarrhea, cholera, typhoid fever and hookworm. They also walk a long distance looking for water, and their children often fall sick.
Here is their source of water
She is 62 years old. She lives in Gatoki village, Bitaba cell and Mwogo sector. She has 3 children. She gets water from the valley and she fetches it for herself at a distance of 1 hour from home to the swamp. She uses 2 hours of time to go back and forth for water one time.
This is the water she bathes with, cooks, wash and drinks. To get this water she walks a distance and a distance, most of the time she suffers with diarrhea, and typhoid fever of which she thinks is caused by this water she drinks.
Here is their storage of water
The Mwogo school is a Christian school. The children learn regular subjects, and learn about the Lord and the Bible. Besides educating the kids they do several types of outreaches to the local community. They have weekly Bible studies, outreaches for men, women, and youth. Outreach to serve the elderly. Also, programs at holidays where the people can come and gather and hear the Gospel.
Sadly, the Mwogo Village well had to be abandoned after three drilling attempts all failed to produce water. A new project, Mwiri 2 Village, will replace the Mwogo Village project. This will be the second well to be drilled in Mwiri.
The scope of the project is a deep well with an electric pump, a storage tank, and a tower. Materials and labor will be covered by Ingomar Living Waters’ original donation, and the project is expected to be finished by January/February 2024.
The well will serve a Christian school and the surrounding community, and the pump will be powered by the electricity at the school. The community will be served first, as the school is not open yet. It will open with 100 students and 10 staff respectively, and the student population will rise to 500.
Mwiri 2 Village is in a rural area in the Kayonza District, with a low-income population. Most of the people are subsistence farmers without a consistent income. Next to the school site, there is a reconciliation village, where families of both victims and perpetrators have lived as neighbors since the Rwanda genocide. Apart from the reconciliation village, there are other surrounding rural settlements in the school area. All of the people living in the reconciliation and surrounding villages will benefit from the well.
There is a public school 2 km away that has a large number of students per teacher, which negatively affects the quality of education given to students. This school does not have access to clean water.
The current water situation is that the Mwiri 2 community has two places where they can collect water. The first current water source is a concrete hole, right next to the road. It is part of the larger water pipe system, but the pipe connection here is broken. The hole fills with water when the water flows, which is 2-3 times a week, so water there is not available every day. Furthermore, when there is water filling the hole, it only runs for 2-3 hours in the morning and 2-3 hours in the evening on the days the water flows. Water delivery is restricted because the water supply is limited, and the lines are often closed to help other distal areas in other directions to get water. It is not a proper water tap, just a broken pipe junction where workers can go down and control or stop water movement, but no one has come to fix the connector pipe, so the people use it as their water tap.
Ultimately, the water from the hole is meant to go to water taps. Normally, that water is not free; people pay 20 Rwandan francs
( $0.16) for one 5-gallon jerry can at local taps. The water from normal taps is okay for activities such as washing and cooking, but for drinking, people are advised to boil it or treat it with chemical products first. People walk from 400 meters to 1.5 km to reach the hole for water.
The water source that the people call ‘the hole.’
There is also a stream cemented with stone 1.5 km from the school location. People fetch water from the stream when the pipe water is not available.
There are also a few water taps, at varying distances away, and the water there costs 20 francs for one jerry can of water.
This water is not clean. It is recommended to boil before drinking. Water from these taps is available only a few times per week at certain hours. It is not reliable and can be dry for up to four months.
The ‘cemented’ running stream water source
It is very difficult for these people to have enough water and they do not have a better alternative. There is a physical toll on the body. People suffer from diarrhea, worms, dysentery, typhoid and hepatitis. Most of the people don’t go for treatment for various reasons including ignorance, lack of money, lack of health insurance, and others. People have a loose understanding that they are suffering from water-related diseases, but the main issue is that most of the time they don’t know the cause because they do not get health care.
When walking in the area, you find different people with skin diseases caused by unclean water, but the community is not aware of it.
In Rwanda it is reported that 43% of the people do not have access to clean drinking water that is within 30 minutes of their homes (UNICEF). In a 2020 survey Rwanda was deemed to have a VERY high degree of risk for major infectious diseases from food or water-borne sources. And, there is a 20% mortality rate due to drinking unclean water and lack of sanitation (WORLDBANK).
This is the sixth well project that we are doing in Rwanda, and the need for clean water is great. We have had excellent success with this ministry partner over our years of partnership with her. Cindy Murphy has done excellent work with two other schools located in Kenya, and this will be the fourth school in in Rwanda. A Christian educator, she had seen the incredibly desperate situations of the children in the poorest slums of Nairobi and began a first Christian school, then a second in Kenya, and then, touched by the deplorable conditions of the reconciliation villages, began schools in Rwanda.
Heaven’s Family does not do projects unless we have formed an ongoing partnership with a good track record of accountability with a ministry partner who is involved in any Safe Water Ministry project. We require ‘before’ marker photos of where the well will be drilled. We collect pertinent details that describe the need, and collect completion photos, reports and testimonies. For payment it depends on the project who receives the funds. We do not pay in full upfront for projects. Usually, we send 60% at the commencement and the balance upon completion. Sometimes we send money to the partner who then pays the driller. Sometimes the money goes directly to the driller. In this case, we will send the funds to our partner and they will pay the driller. We try to make sure of confirmation that the driller will arrive on schedule because sometimes drilling gets delayed. We would rather be in control of the funds, rather than the drilling companies.
Here with this particular project, the school will direct the management [of maintenance and future repairs]. The plan is to have a small, fractional fee, as approved by the leadership, so the community may contribute to future well maintenance. The exact amount is not yet decided. We work to educate partners to understand better about self-sufficiency.
Providing a deep well will benefit the whole community and also the Christian school, which will provide a quality education open to the children of the area. This is the fifth school that our ministry partner will establish in Rwanda. She has followed her calling to bring quality Christian education to the poorest of the poor. Besides the school, there is much other ministry activity.
Outreach ministry activities, Bible studies, vocational training such as sewing training, and other programs that will go on at the school to further the gospel and minister to the people. Other benefits: The people will have their greatest need met, access to clean water. The people will be healthier, they will be able to practice basic hygiene which will also improve their health and well-being. The school will have ready access to clean water. The physical toil and related physical injury people suffer from carrying water will be greatly reduced. Children will be able to attend school all day, instead of going to fetch water all day. Greater community outreach will be made possible as people will come to collect water and attend Bible studies and other trainings. The people will see the love of God for them, they will see that they are not forgotten.
A well will be transformational for the community and the people will see the love of Jesus. There will be outreach and a Christian school established. There are churches in the community, but it was found that many people spend many months without going to the church. The desire and goal is to serve and reach the families to help bring those people back to Jesus. Also, for the children to have access to quality education and to learn about Jesus.
All projects are made possible by World Changers.