Tag Archives: Rwanda

Brisbane WASH Conference 2011 presentations on hygiene and sanitation

Dr Val Curtis

“The most cost-effectiveness intervention for improving public health [is] improving hygiene promotion [and] without change in hygiene behaviour, we get none of the benefits of water, none of the benefits of sanitation”. This was one of the messages that Dr Val Curtis conveyed in her introduction to the session on “Behavioral change and social sustainability” at the WASH Conference 2011 (download audio of her presentation).

Some 224 conference delegates from over 100 organisations in 40 countries came to Brisbane, Australia for the WASH Conference 2011. Below is a selection of the presentations on sanitation – powerpoints + audio files – given on 16-17 May. (If you have never heard him speak before, don’t miss the presentation by CLTS-guru Kamal Kar). The presentation streams dealt with institutional, environmental, social and financial sustainability respectively.

Most of the presentations were about Asia, the focus area of conference co-organiser/sponsor AusAid. There were also a few presentations from Africa, a region where AusAid is looking to expand its WASH activities (see AusAid focus regions/countries).

WASH Conference 2011 presentations on sanitation


Community Led Total Sanitation (CLTS), Origin, Spread and Scaling up
Presented by Kamal Kar
Slideshare presentation | Download audio

Planning Behaviour Change: Chances and Challenges
Presented by Dr. Christine Sijbesma, IRC
Slideshare presentationDownload audio

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Rwanda: Nation Targets 100 Percent Sanitation Coverage By 2012

Apr 20, 2011 – The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine, yesterday announced that there would be 100 percent sanitation coverage by 2012, and stressed on accelerating strategies to achieve this target.

She made the remarks while addressing a preparatory meeting of the forthcoming third African Sanitation and Hygiene conference (AfricaSan 3), slated for July in Kigali.

Mukasine added that the overall objective is to get Africa on track to meet the sanitation Millenium Development Goal; the focus has to be on building and sustaining momentum through improved action plans and renewed commitments.

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Eco-Friendly, Women-Centric Approaches Towards Female Sanitation

Many women in the developing world can miss up to 50 school or working days per year due to lack of proper feminine hygiene.

Jani Pad

To alleviate the problem, in Rwanda a Harvard MBA graduate Elizabeth Scharpf formed the Sustainable Health Enterprise (SHE). The organization then started working with Rwandan women to make sanitary pads made with banana-tree fibers. Since 2009, SHE has also trained 5,000 Rwandan women to set up their own micro-enterprises, creating an industry that is as sustainable as its product. They have also been educating women about female hygiene to create health awareness.

With every woman-led business that SHE invests in, roughly 100 jobs are created and approximately 100,000 girls and women gain access to affordable sanitary products. Scharpf hopes to expand the Rwanda model to other countries over time.

The Jani Pad

More recently, five students from Sweden and Norway banded together to create sanitary protection using fibers from water hyacinth. The water hyacinth in Lake Victoria, Kenya is an invasive plant that causes a lot of environmental problems. As the plant grows very fast, it can easily blanket an entire lake cutting off light – this creates havoc for transportation and also destroys local ecosystems. However as the fibers of the plant can be spun and used for paper making, it was put to use to create sanitary pads.

Roughly 870,000 girls in Kenya miss four days of school every month due to a lack of feminine protection and underwear. The Jani pad is made of four layers of water-hyacinth paper. Each layer has different characteristics like perforated holes to  improve absorption or beeswax to prevent leakage. The pad also comes with slits on the top layer to conform to the wearer’s body.

Importance of Women Entrepreneurs

Both of these products have women-centric approaches to women-centric problems. According to the US State Department there are more than 200 million women entrepreneurs worldwide and they earn more than $10 trillion every year. Environmental issues, social problems and community upliftment are all areas that women naturally gravitate towards and all these areas present ample business opportunities as demonstrated by these two initiatives.

However in spite of everything that women can bring to the work place, in many parts of the world they are met with unfair disadvantages. International Women’s Day highlights this and brings to light the importance of women towards creating balanced societies everywhere.


Sanitation graveyard video featured on Blog Action Day

The Water for People video “Sanitation graveyard”, filmed at at Ayabaraya Primary School in Rwanda, features in “Beyond the Ribbon Cutting” written by blogger Jennifer Lentfer for Blog Action Day.

When “solutions” are delivered to disadvantaged people without sufficient thought about how community ownership, maintenance, and long-term access to water and sanitation will occur, here’s what can happen:

Blog Action 2010 logo

Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15 that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. This year’s topic is water.

Mainstreaming gender into Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes

Mainstreaming gender into Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes: a training manual for water professionals

Authors: ; SNV Rwanda; PROTOS; Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, Rwanda
Publisher: Gender and Water Alliance , 2009

Link to full-text: http://www.genderandwater.org/page/7316

The training manual on mainstreaming gender into Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programmes is an integrated approach to both gender and WASH issues. It aims to provide participatory gender-sensitive training to water professionals at the policy, project and administrative levels through building their capacity for mainstreaming gender into WASH programmes. The authors hope this manual will be useful to other public, private and civil society training institutions and agencies, both in Rwanda (where this manual was written) and in other countries around the world.

The manual aims to provide participatory gender sensitive training to water professionals at the policy, project and administrative levels and promote an understanding of and commitment to the importance of participation of both women and men in sustainability of these programmes

It is divided into 3 modules which cover:

— trends of WASH programmes in Rwanda, global concepts and management of WASH programmes

— theoretical concepts of gender including social and gender analysis, gender roles and relationships and gender needs

— gender mainstreaming and providing gender analysis frameworks and gender planning tools.

Gender sensitive indicators and a log-frame for WASH programmes are also included.

Rwanda: US$ 25 Million for Rural Water and Sanitation Programme

Rwanda will receive US$ 24.76 million (UA* 16 million) in the form of grants to finance the second phase of the country’s second 2009-2012 Rural Drinking Water Supply and Sanitation Sub-Programme (PNEAR).

The funding comprises a UA 10 million African Development Fund (ADF) grant and a UA 6 million grant from the Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Initiative (RWSSI) Trust Fund.

The PNEAR aims at improving drinking water supply services in 216 rural localities in the North, West and South provinces; improving household sanitation services in 216 rural localities, and community sanitation services in 15 districts. The overall goal is to provide rural communities with sustainable drinking water supply and sanitation services to improve their health and living conditions.

It involves the construction of 16,000 new individual latrines for the most vulnerable families; 130 new multi-compartment latrines and 100 storm-water harvesting reservoirs in village public infrastructures (schools, health centres and other public places); and the training of 500 masons on latrine construction techniques.

Other outputs include the training of 250 female outreach workers and 100 school teachers on hygiene in villages; provision of a large drinking water supply network covering 150 km; constructing 10 medium water supply scheme networks covering 275 km; developing 1000 drinking water supply sources fitted with laundry tubs; training 200 district borehole drillers in the maintenance of water facilities; training 10 private operators in the operation and maintenance of complex water supply systems; and conducting outreach and sensitization campaigns in 216 localities in the three provinces concerned with the programme.

[…] The direct beneficiaries of the sub-programme are the inhabitants of the 15 districts who account for 5.05 million of the country’s 9.7 population.

The sub-programme is estimated at UA 20.265 million. The ADF funding will cover 79% of the costs while the government and the beneficiary community will provide UA 3.254 million or 16%, and UA 1.011 million or 5% of the total cost, respectively.

* 1 UA Units of Account) = 1.54805 US$ = 877.915 RWF on 01/07/2009

Source: African Development Bank, 02 Jul 2009

Rwanda: Water Access, Sanitation Improved in 2008

Kigali — Last year, over six million Rwandans – more than 73 percent of the country’s population were estimated to have access to safe drinking water, compared to 71 percent in the previous year.

This is revealed in a joint Ministry of Infrastructure (Mininfra)-African Development Bank (AfDB) report, titled: “Summary Report on Water and Sanitation Joint Sector Review (Fiscal Year 2008).”

The three-page document co-signed by State Minister Dr. Albert Butare and AfDB resident representative Jacob Diko Mukete also points out that 4.3 million – 45 percent – Rwandans have access to hygienic sanitation facilities.

“The impressive coverage rates for WATSAN (water and sanitation) are attributed to rehabilitation and construction of new infrastructure,” states a portion of the report.

Some of thee infrastructure investments mentioned include construction of 651 kilometres of new water supply systems, 70 boreholes, 53 rain water harvesting tanks and 92 public latrines.

The report noted that the country is well on its way to realise its ambitious target – 100 percent coverage of water supply and sanitation called for by Vision 2020.

Also noted is the impact of the Nyabarongo water project, a project to reinforce potable water supply in Kigali city and then projected to conclude by July 2009.

“In 2008, approximately 546,070 additional people had access to safe drinking water while 33,395 had improved access to sanitation.”


The country’s alarming population growth, though not alone, again, resurfaces as a major obstacle. Other pertinent reports indicate that depending on an estimated population swell up of 11.3 million people by the year 2015, who all need access to water and basic sanitation.

It is noted that despite the steady progress being made towards achieving the 100 percent coverage by 2020, Rwanda will need to marshal, on average, a minimum of about USD 32-35 million annually for the rehabilitation and construction of new water and sanitation forms of infrastructures.

The Mininfra-AfDB report also notes that while there is significant growth in access to sanitation, there is a need to separate sanitation from water supply, with the establishment of a separate sub-programme and a budget.

Human resource challenges and, environment degradation are also noted as a threat to the water and sanitation sub-sector.

It is estimated that 884 million people do not have access to clean water and 2.5 billion without adequate sanitation worldwide.

Under the Global End Water Poverty Campaign Sanitation and Water For all, several charity organisations have been putting pressure on G8 countries to pay attention in sanitation and water areas.

Water and sanitation are two key elements without which there can be no sustainable development in health, education and livelihoods, locking people into a cycle of poverty and diseases.

Source – The New Times