Initiatives to improve health through the promotion of hand washing with soap to decrease prevalence and incidence of water-borne diseases were conducted and the Government of Rwanda is making steady progress in improving access to safe water and sanitation services. However, 29% (i.e. 3,4 millions) of the population is still unable to access a safe drinking water source, while 26% of the population have no access to improved sanitation facilities, 3000 children die every year of water-borne diseases and especially rural areas are more affected.
Pit latrines should be replaced by ecosans for health and economical reasons.
Few Rwandans have running water in their homes. Some families can access water through community water points, where they are charged a nominal user fee for the water, according to either container size or monthly consumption. However, many cannot afford clean tap water and collect water from local streams and ponds, which puts them at risk of contracting waterborne diseases.
In rural areas, the distance to a water source imposes a significant burden on women and girls, who are the primary water carriers for their families. This negatively affects the quality of women’s and girls’ lives, their economic productivity and their access to education.
Children are more vulnerable than any other age group to the ill effects of unsafe water, poor sanitation and lack of hygiene. Diarrhea is one of the main three reasons for the death of children.
Women and children are the most affected by unclean water, so watersprings should be improved.