Kevin smiles as he draws clean water from a WSS constructed by World Vision

The face of clean water

Six-year-old Kevin lives in Gicumbi District in the Northern Province of Rwanda, known for mountainous flowing water, which is composed of aquatic worms that transmit waterborne diseases. This flowing water meets both animal and human waste along the way, which doubles the rate of diseases it carries, making it unsafe for both children and adults to drink.

Like other children of the same age, Kevin would often fall ill due to the kind of water they consumed. They had to spend most of their lives going back and forth to Health Centres for treatment. This continued repeatedly until World Vision intervened in their community and constructed Nyaruvumu Water Supply System (WSS) composed of four water points supplying three villages with over 1,200 beneficiaries.

Kevin’s family is among the key beneficiaries. The water point is within just a five-meter distance of their home. Having acquired access to clean and safe drinking water through World Vision’s support, they are now able to bathe, wash their clothes and utensils because it is easier to access clean water than before.

Waterborne diseases are no longer an issue to worry about in Kevin's community; families like his now have access to free clean water and life has greatly improved. Kevin and his fellow children now get to attend school regularly and in time because they are healthy and no longer have to spend their precious time at hospitals instead. Their school grades have gradually improved, and they now love school like never before; a firm assurance of reduced school dropout rates and an opportunity to improved child rights.

“I thank World Vision for the clean water they brought to us. Today at school, I pass with good grades because I am never late. I have the opportunity to play with my friends. I do not have to worry about trekking a long distance carrying heavy water containers and getting tired. Thanks be to God for bringing World Vision”, says Kevin.

Mukamana Marceline (36), Kevin’s mother, recalls how she and her child used to live a hectic life because of the unsafe water they depended on while at the same time acquired it under difficult conditions. “Today, we thank God and World Vision who provided to us free access to clean and safe drinking water. We do not pay even a single coin to access this water; yet before we paid a lot to the doctors and nurses whenever the children got infections from the water we used to fetch”, she says.

Having clean water is a dream come true. My child and I would have to wake up at 5:00a.m. to collect water before school. Today, water is near our home and washing clothes can be done at home. By experience water is everything to us”, adds Marceline.

World Vision continues to impact lives of the most vulnerable children across Rwanda, through water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), aiming at universal coverage by 2023.