By The Inspirer writer.
Various citizens from Ntongwe Sector in Ruhango District used to suffer from poor hygiene related diseases due to lack of water say the new water supply they have got will help them address the issue, thanks to USAID/Giukuriro programme that brought up this facility.
Handwashing culture is one among the programme’s goals, aiming at combating poor hyigiene related diseases such as intestinal worms.
Some citizens’ testimonies from Cyeru village in Rebero cell say that before they got the water supply system used to make over five kilometers to the water tap in another neighboring district or prefer to drink stagnant water.
Djalia Bamurange, is one of the citizens who shared their testimonies. She said that they are now safe and no longer making such a long journey after five months using the water from the new water supply system.
“It was even a struggle to fetch the stagnant water from the ground roads where we could spend three hours waiting for the queue, our children used to suffer from intestinal worms but now we are safe, we fetch from the water tap near our homes and we get notified whether there will be a shortage and store enough to use,” Bamurange said.
Liliane Nyiranzabandora, is a healthcare provider from Kayenzi, a nearby health center, serving in laboratory. She said that water scarcity was a serious issue at the health center where they used to make long journey to find some water to wash medical equipment.
“We could use not less than four jerrycan per day, the price for one jerry can was Rwf100 including the transportation fees. We have benefited a lot since we gained this water supply system, hygiene was improved and our clients easily get pure drinking water, and any patient getting here can wash hands easily.” She said.
“I often need water when I am making coloration, we need water when we are washing testing equipment,” she added.
Jean Bosco Musengimana, one of the patients who were at this health center said that handwashing is their culture. “We use water to wash our hands as we use to great each other using hands, so we need to clean up, we use water and a soap. We appreciate the efforts of USAID/Gikuriro programme in partnership with our local authorities who have boosted this culture of handwashing.
Gikuriro is a 5 years USAID-funded Integrated Nutrition and WASH Activity (INWA), branded as the Gikuriro program, is being implemented through a consortium led by CRS along with SNV, an international non-governmental organization and six local NGO partners, in close collaboration with relevant Government of Rwanda (GoR) structures at the national and decentralized levels in eight Rwandan districts.
It aims to improve the nutritional status of women of reproductive age and children under five years of age, especially in the first 1,000 days of life.
Clement Mbonigaba, an official of Ntongwe Sector in charge of finance and administration said that they had had water scarcity but now everything was handled. “This water helps us to handle hygiene activities at the sector headquarters, our citizens cannot experience any problem resulting to poor hygiene when they come here,” he said.
However, other citizens from neighbouring cells like Nyarurama and Musamo said they were mobilized to wash hands but still struggle to get pure water as they are still relying on water from the canals, which also get withered sometimes during hot weather.
Alphonsine Mukangenzi, the vice mayor of Ruhango District in Charge of social affairs said that those who still have water scarcity will soon get it as the district performance of contracts are working on it.
“There is a target that every citizen will have access to pure drinking water in 500 meters from home by 2024. So, we are looking ways for fast-tracking this,”
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