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Water & Sanitation Hygiene

Clean water, basic toilets and good hygiene practices are essential for survival. Failing to meet these basic needs puts the lives of Rwandans at risk. In the remote communities of Rwanda, vulnerable populations suffer because of poor sanitation. Dysentery, diarrhea and other water-borne diseases spread because of unclean drinking water and unsanitary toilet facilities. 

The local public water system is woefully insufficient. Residents walk up to five miles with 20-liter bottles to purchase water at a clean water station. An alternative is to get water from a nearby lake, but the water is not safe and must be boiled before using.

Journey House Actions Rwanda (JHA) strives to improve access to clean water and better sanitation for vulnerable Rwandan communities. The organization installed water storage tanks on top of its office and new Early Childhood Development (ECD) Center to save rainwater and purchased water. And JHA will soon drill a well near the new ECD Center and power it with solar energy.

JHA also offers Water & Sanitation Hygiene (WASH) programs. These programs:

  • Promote better hygiene and sanitation practices through school education sessions and public health lectures on:
    • Hand washing after visiting toilets,
    • Covering food in clean containers to avoid food contamination,
    • Boiling drinking water to protect students and others from the effects of drinking dirty water,
    • Effective personal hygiene practices,
    • Safer cooking practices,
    • Consumption of clean food and food-related products, and
    • Using safe products in day-to-day activities both at home and at the refugee communities in Rwanda.
  • Construct pit latrines for vulnerable families to prevent hygiene-related diseases like diarrhea, dysentery, cholera and typhoid and water-borne diseases like bilharzia and whooping cough.

“Only 57% of the Rwandan population has access to safe drinking water within 30 minutes of their home. Just 64% of the population has access to basic sanitation services and only 5% of households have a place for family members to wash their hands with soap.”

UNICEF Rwanda Statistics

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