Over 255,000 people benefited from the 8 year Gicumbi WASH Program

Over 255,000 people in different sectors of Gicumbi District have gained access to potable water, thanks to the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) program. This initiative, a collaborative effort involving Water for People, the WASAC Group, and the district, spanned eight years from 2016 to 2024.

The successful outcomes were celebrated on March 21st, 2024, in Mukarange Sector, coinciding with National Water Week and the World Water Day observed on March 22, 2024, under the theme "Leveraging Water for Peace."

The program saw the completion of 75 water supply systems, extending over 511.14 km, serving 255,194 residents of Gicumbi District, as well as 95 schools and 32 healthcare facilities. Funding for these water facilities was a joint effort, with Water for People, the district, and the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC Group) contributing 55%, 30%, and 15% of the total investment, respectively.

The local community expressed immense gratitude for the improved access to water, which has significantly eased their burden, especially during dry seasons. Residents recounted the difficulties of travelling long distances and relying on unclean water sources before the initiative.

The program has not only saved time but has also enhanced cleanliness and reduced the prevalence of water-borne diseases among the population.

“We were used to fetching water from the swamps, and spend hours looking for it.  We are now grateful for having clean water. We use it for cleaning, washing our bodies and for our livestock.  . Having water access improved our hygiene and we no longer suffer from water borne deases like intestinal worms and lice” Uvutseneza Clementine, a mother of one from Burambira Village of Mukarange Sector said.

Prof. Omar Munyaneza, the CEO of WASAC Group, reaffirmed the Rwandan government's dedication to ensuring clean water for all citizens, reflecting the goals set out in the National Strategy of Transformation (NST1). He urged the Gicumbi community to safeguard the water infrastructure against vandalism to promote socio-economic development.

Uwera Parfaite, the Acting Mayor of Gicumbi District, expressed appreciation for the significant progress made in water and sanitation service provision, highlighting the productive partnership with Water for People, WASAC Group, and other stakeholders. She looked forward to continued collaboration to achieve universal access to clean water.

The water supply projects implemented in Gicumbi District increased the rate of water access to 93.9% in 2023 from 47.6% in 2016.