Inclusive WASH is a practical program to improve access to clean water in Rwanda and it is transforming lives. Delivered by World Vision Australia, Inclusive WASH installs water systems, water filters, builds latrines and shower facilities and provides community education programs. In cooperation with local government and providers, Inclusive WASH has assisted over 110,000 people, around half of them children. Its impact continues to ripples in all areas of the community, especially for children.
Project: Inclusive WASH Rwanda
Location: Nyamasheke District, Rwanda
Inclusive WASH provides communities with access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation facilities in homes, schools and health centres across nine of the 15 Nyamasheke Districts in Rwanda. The Nyamasheke District is in the Western Province and has the highest poverty levels in the country. Around 70% of adults live below the poverty line.
Working in cooperation with 16 schools and two health centres, Inclusive WASH has constructed two major water supply systems enabling 50,070 people to access regular clean water. In two of the schools, the program has constructed sex-separated disability inclusive latrines which has had a direct positive impact on student hygiene, health and attendance. Education is an important part of the work and there are now 40 WASH clubs across local schools and centres teaching about good hygiene.
For girls particularly the in-school infrastructure projects and the community education program are significant. Many girls know little about menstruation and most often it is when they reach puberty and experience their first period. The World Bank estimates that at least 20 percent of Rwanda’s schoolgirls, particularly in rural areas, miss up to 50 days of school each year because they cannot access or afford sanitary products and because of the taboo and stigma. Along with school facilities, Inclusive WASH provides essential sanitary products, bathing facilities and spare clothes.
For Gitwa-A primary student Kelia, aged 12 the new latrines mean “we will perform well in our studies”. Teacher Samuel Harerimana is seeing the impact on students lives. “This new and wonderful latrine for children and teachers and to serve people with a disability gives us access and makes learning easier”. This is especially for our young girls who will become women, contributing to the development of the country”.
The Phillips Foundation provides support enables the partners in this initiative, World Vision Rwanda, World Vision Australia and the Rwandan Government to deliver services and infrastructure that are changing lives for the better.