Sunday, 13 February 2011


This past Thursday, I went with Serge to Nyamirama so that I could check out the bore hole of the well we dug. Didn't want to miss seeing it. Might seem strange to you but it's so exciting for us.
A piece of history for International Teams Rwanda for sure!
As we walked and talked our way through the surrounding community, our hearts were more than moved by the water situation. Now we knew that we needed water on our land to supply the project and that we would use it to help supply the surrounding community as well but we got a much greater insight into their water plight.

Nyamirama is a poor community. It is normal to see many children, poorly dressed and with dust on their feet and clothes.
Thursday seemed to be much worse.
Rain has not come for many days / months and they are desparate.

In fact this growing season has been very poor due to the lack of rain.
(We were 'happy' to hear and see that our crops had done okay while those around had been nil. Sad for those around for sure but great to know that some of the training is making a difference!)

There are three options for water for this community.

They can walk 2 hours to collect water for free from a stream.
Who knows what is in that stream or has used that stream.

They can buy a 20 litre jerry can of water for 200 RWF (40 cents) from a passing guy on a bicycle selling water to whoever wants it.
Serge and I were outraged at this!!
The going rate in Kayonza, the town, 5 kms away is 30 francs (6 cents) per 20 litres.

They go without.

Now imagine this.
Families on this community are not one or two children. They usually have 5-8 children. 
A good wage per household is 700 RWF / day ($1.40)
If it costs 200 RWF for 20 litres of water, there is not much money for anything else - every drop of that water counts. You can know that bathing and washing clothes is the last thing that water would be used for.

What about the poorest of the poor? What about the ones that are too weak to work so they have no money to buy water from the passing bicycle guy or strength to walk and get the water themselves?

I looked up on the internet how much water the average North American uses in one day
300 litres / person!
A far cry from 20 litres / day for a family of 6 or more.

Oh God!

In the coming weeks we'll be getting the pump into the well, the line into the ground, a tap in the line so we can dispense water to the surrounding community.
Pray this happens fast and well.

As we were leaving, some of the community leaders had followed us to our car.
They want to believe we have water for them... they're trying hard to believe - but it's hard for them to believe their dream might just be coming true.

May there be an everlasting spring of water at the bottom of that well!

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