With over 16 years experience in relief work specifically in Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Engineer Nshuti Rugerinyange is a man out to make life better whenever he can.
As a Rwandese doctorate researcher, he does research on leadership and culture.
Apart from that, he also heads Water Aid which is a British charity organization working in over 30 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
“We are working to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable communities by giving them access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene because we believe human development stems from WASH,” says Rugerinyange.
As the head of the Water Aid team in Rwanda, Rugerinyange and his crew are trying to perk up the lives of underprivileged Rwandans who do not have access to WASH services. On how he came to be in this field of work, Rugerinyange says, “it was a combination of various factors.”
“I was born and raised in a typical African village. Having once lived there, I am well aware of the kind of life some people are going through now.
“I remember when I was five years old, I used to walk long distances and even drink contaminated water. I am lucky to be alive because I have seen people die from drinking polluted water or having no water at all.
“I actually lost a relative to that problem,” explains Rugerinyange.
He adds: “I know what water is. It is a passion and I love it. I could be doing other things but I love WASH, I do WASH, and I’m into WASH. That’s all there is to it.”
Rugerinyange is a man whose wings have not only soared in Rwanda but also in other countries in Africa, Asia and even the Caribbean. His work knows no boundaries and he will move to the ends of the Earth if he thought he could be of any help there.
“I consider myself a development worker though I’ve been into humanitarian work in the Great Lakes Region. The challenges humanitarians face in Somalia today could be similar but also different from those in Sudan.
“But either way, humanitarianism comes down to the same thing which is, the need to serve people and often in difficult circumstances, wired resources are not forth coming and in the case of WASH, it would be not having access to water sources,” Rugerinyange comments.
In regards to Somalia, Rugerinyange says one needs to first detect the problem then alienate it so as to help you understand it.
“Once the problem is found, and you have given yourself a ladle of what you can do, then you can also come up with a proposal for a solution to the problem. That is the starting point.
“Somalia cannot be looked at as a whole. Specific issues need to be tackled because their situation is political, humanitarian, and economical and so many other things that one can’t fix by just doing charity. We need to see who can play which role in fixing the multi-problem. But everyone can play a role whether in the West or Africa itself,” continues Rugerinyange.
“I wake up every morning looking to save a life. I appreciate people who contribute to specific issues especially when it has to do with making life better for another person.
I want to continue learning and contribute to the best of my ability to the sector and organization I work for. I would also like to raise my family well and grow old,” he states.