The University of Colorado Boulder Engineers Without Borders Chapter (EWB-USA CU) has partnered with a locally-based non-governmental organization known as Village Makeover (VMO) to provide and improve water, hygiene, sanitation, and catchment systems in Northern Rwanda within the Cyanika community.
Clean, accessible water is located a few kilometers from many of the villages in the Cyankia community. This requires women and children to make multiple long trips, leaving many families without water for much of the day. The water taps charge an average of 50-100 rwf per jerry can causing families to skip meals in order to have water. Each tap stand always has a long line of people waiting for water and depending on the season, some of the further taps can go dry for weeks.
This project will provide rainwater catchment systems for individual villages in the Cyankia community to harvest rainwater gathered through the wet seasons. The water gathered will provide a new primary source for the villages to use throughout the year. This, however, can only be done with a strong emphasis on community education in water management and appropriate usage. Engineers Without Borders has these lesson plans in place and ready for implementation.
Having rainwater catchment systems in place will provide Cyanika's women and children an opportunity to attend school and educate themselves. The catchment systems will also provide the community with water independence and control for years to come. Engineers Without Borders will continue to work with the community to raise the quality of life.