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Steve's Water Mission in Rwanda

Following a visit by Steve Morgan, founder of the Morgan Foundation, to Rwanda in November 2010, the Foundation in partnership with Water Aid committed funding to increase the provision of sustainable water and sanitation in the Bugesera district of Rwanda, 25km south-east of Kigali.

  • Rwanda which gained independence from Belgium in 1962, a small, landlocked country, is one of the poorest countries in the world on the UN Human Development Index.
  • The population of Rwanda is estimated at 9.5 million people, 90% of whom depend on subsistence agriculture.
  • Rwanda, although now stable has been prone to cyclical violence. This culminated in 1994 with a genocide which saw the death of 1,000,000 Rwandans, killed within 100 days.
  • Official figures say 60% of people have access to piped water, but the quality is questionable as it includes water from polluted swamps.
  • The Minister of Health states that 80% of diseases are water related.

The Bugesera district is 25km south-east of Kigali and covers 1,334km which is comparable to Greater London in size . The district used to be covered with forest and inhabited mainly by Tutsis who sold charcoal and firewood to Kigali. In the genocide this district was one of the worst hit. Approximately 60,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were killed in Bugesera. The majority of the trees were cut down in a bid to destroy the economy, which has since impacted on income generation.

As a result of the genocide there are many women and child headed households that are particularly vulnerable. In December 2006, the population of Bugesera was 274,113, with 64% under the age of 35. Nationally, only 8% of the population has access to hygienic Latrines. On average, people walk three kilometres to collect water from sources of questionable quality.

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The Morgan Foundation/WaterAid programme in Rwanda concentrated on three main areas:

  • The laying of a new pipeline from the existing water treatment works at Lake Nugersera to the disused pumping station in Bugesera via a route that will not be affected by flooding.
  • The reinstatement of existing boreholes that have fallen into disrepair.
  • Provision of communal rainwater harvesting and underground storage systems for communities, including the orphan village in Nyamata.

Of course, as when he was in Uganda, Steve made sure that he recruited a number of new Wolves supporters! Teams in Bugeseara were kitted out with Wolves strips and even President Kagame now sports a Wolves shirt!