Rwanda: providing drinking water from underground sources

Rwanda: providing drinking water from underground sources  In Rwanda, initiatives are emerging to democratize access to drinking water for all. According to UNICEF, less than 50% of the Rwandan population has access to drinking water within 30 minutes of their homes.  The Nyabugogo River is an important source of water for the local population. It meanders around the lands near the capital Kigali. Families use it to wash and clean. But when they need clean water, impoverished communities look for underground sources of water, which are dangerous to their health.  People line up to collect water canisters, but if the water isn't clean, they risk disease. The alternative is to have the water treated by commercial companies, but the cost is too high for the poorest in society.  Remy Duhuze of the Rwanda Water Resources Board says access to sufficient water is a challenge for the country.  “ We need water in so many daily activities, we need water for drinking, we need water for household activities, we need water for irrigation, we need water for hydropower generation, we need water for so many activities. But the water that is used by our population is less compared to other countries ." he declared.  Companies like Iriba are trying to make clean, safe water accessible to everyone. It has a plant in Kigali to purify groundwater. The company was started by Yvette Ishimwe, who is the managing director of Iriba Water Group .  " The objective of this project is to give people access to drinking water, especially those who do not have access to it. We mainly target low-income people, such as our vending machines in public places, in markets, in car parks, we target low-income people who cannot afford bottled water ,” she explains.  Drinking water vending machines Kimironko Market is a typical area where low-income communities work and shop. This is where Iriba has installed one of its water kiosks. The company targets high traffic areas like markets and public parking lots. Thirsty workers stop for a short break and buy a glass of water that they know is drinkable and affordable.  " I have a difficult job that forces me to drink water regularly, I cannot afford to buy a bottle of 1,000 francs with what I earn, whereas here I pay 100 francs. These kiosks help us a lot when we are thirsty, we come here and quench our thirst ,” says Jean de Dieu, a resident of the neighborhood.  Low-income neighborhoods aren't the only ones who need clean, cheap water. This school is equipped with one of Iriba's water dispensers. There is no need for staff, a simple press of a payment card is enough to make the water flow. Students pay a subscription to have unlimited access to water during the school term, with no upfront cost to the school.  " I had problems with stomach diseases, but now I feel good when I drink this water. And when it's hot, we drink cold water, I'm happy ," says schoolgirl Paula Ineza.  Ishimwe explains that his company has adapted the dispenser to the needs of schools.   " Many schools do not have drinking water facilities. Students simply drink tap water, which is not safe to drink. They have problems with diarrhea, typhoid and other drinking-related diseases. contaminated water ," she explains.  She called her project "Tap and Drink for Schools" and explains that subscriptions only cost 1,500 francs per term.  It is perhaps initiatives like Iriba's that will bring clean water to the entire population of Rwanda, by making groundwater safe. Iriba Water plans to expand its supply to other areas, especially rural areas of the country.

In Rwanda, initiatives are emerging to democratize access to drinking water for all. According to UNICEF, less than 50% of the Rwandan population has access to drinking water within 30 minutes of their homes.

The Nyabugogo River is an important source of water for the local population. It meanders around the lands near the capital Kigali. Families use it to wash and clean. But when they need clean water, impoverished communities look for underground sources of water, which are dangerous to their health.

People line up to collect water canisters, but if the water isn't clean, they risk disease. The alternative is to have the water treated by commercial companies, but the cost is too high for the poorest in society.

Remy Duhuze of the Rwanda Water Resources Board says access to sufficient water is a challenge for the country.

“ We need water in so many daily activities, we need water for drinking, we need water for household activities, we need water for irrigation, we need water for hydropower generation, we need water for so many activities. But the water that is used by our population is less compared to other countries ." he declared.

Companies like Iriba are trying to make clean, safe water accessible to everyone. It has a plant in Kigali to purify groundwater. The company was started by Yvette Ishimwe, who is the managing director of Iriba Water Group .

" The objective of this project is to give people access to drinking water, especially those who do not have access to it. We mainly target low-income people, such as our vending machines in public places, in markets, in car parks, we target low-income people who cannot afford bottled water ,” she explains.

Drinking water vending machines
Kimironko Market is a typical area where low-income communities work and shop. This is where Iriba has installed one of its water kiosks. The company targets high traffic areas like markets and public parking lots. Thirsty workers stop for a short break and buy a glass of water that they know is drinkable and affordable.

" I have a difficult job that forces me to drink water regularly, I cannot afford to buy a bottle of 1,000 francs with what I earn, whereas here I pay 100 francs. These kiosks help us a lot when we are thirsty, we come here and quench our thirst ,” says Jean de Dieu, a resident of the neighborhood.

Low-income neighborhoods aren't the only ones who need clean, cheap water. This school is equipped with one of Iriba's water dispensers. There is no need for staff, a simple press of a payment card is enough to make the water flow. Students pay a subscription to have unlimited access to water during the school term, with no upfront cost to the school.

" I had problems with stomach diseases, but now I feel good when I drink this water. And when it's hot, we drink cold water, I'm happy ," says schoolgirl Paula Ineza.

Ishimwe explains that his company has adapted the dispenser to the needs of schools.

" Many schools do not have drinking water facilities. Students simply drink tap water, which is not safe to drink. They have problems with diarrhea, typhoid and other drinking-related diseases. contaminated water ," she explains.

She called her project "Tap and Drink for Schools" and explains that subscriptions only cost 1,500 francs per term.

It is perhaps initiatives like Iriba's that will bring clean water to the entire population of Rwanda, by making groundwater safe. Iriba Water plans to expand its supply to other areas, especially rural areas of the country.
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