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Opportunities for accessing clean water in rural communities

Last week we kicked off our second program with The Ihangane Project exploring the multifaceted world of access to clean water for a small village two-hours outside of Kigali.  The program took us back to Rwanda where team members Karin Carter and Heather Fleming trekked through the hilly, lush terrain in the pouring rain to spend some time in the homes of families living on as little as $2-$3 per day.  Rwanda’s rural poor, 96% of the country’s population, has access to water through government issued water pumps spotted throughout the countryside, but the cleanliness of the water is a separate issue.

Working through the Ihangane Project’s local staff and the community health clinic, we ran individual interviews, focus groups, and conducted home visits with both community members and community health workers.  Our goal? To build our understanding of the local perspective of “clean” versus “safe” water, how it fits into their lives, and to facilitate discussion on existing market-based and community-driven solutions for clean water in Rwanda.  Check out the first images from the program photo diary here.

Our research also included interviews with a range of organizations supplying clean water systems in Rwanda – WaterAid, Water for People, Manna Energy, The Access Project. – and we witnessed a range of differing solutions and strategies as a result.  Our team will spend the next few weeks synthesizing and summarizing key findings from our research.  Stay tuned for the wrap-up and review of our methodology in the coming weeks!

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