Over 300,000 people are set to benefit from the Rwamagana District Sanitation Centre that is expected to provide to them with a wide range of sanitation technologies and products to ensure expanded access to safe and sustainable sanitation facilities, product and services.
Dubbed Rwanda Rural Sanitation Activity, translated as Isuku Iwacu project, the overall goal is to increase local ownership and capacity to deliver sustainable, high quality sanitation and hygiene services in order to decrease stunting.
It’s strategic objective is to improve access to correct, consistent use of household sanitation and hygiene facilities, according to the officials.
The Rwamagana district sanitation centre will have a training section to facilitate transfer of skills, a selling point for local enterpreuneurs where residents can purchase sanitation related products and services.
Besides, the show room with various technical options of sanitation and hand washing facilities to visiting households and professional contractors.
Funded by USAID, Isuku Iwacu is being implemented by SNV Netherlands Development Organisation with a consortium of other Non -Governmental Organisations including World Vision and Water for people.
Speaking at the Inauguration, Phomolo Maphosa, SNV Rwanda Country Director said the aim is to help the government achieve its 2020 sanitation goal which is to ensure 100 percent of sanitation and Hygiene and the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG6) which is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
She said that despite more efforts put in to promote hygiene and sanitation, achieving universal access to hygiene and sanitation remains a global issue.
She said in total 36 percent of the population have access to unimproved toilet facility while 2 percent of the population do not have access to toilet at all.
62 percent of the population has access to improved and non-shared toilet facilities, he said.
“SNV is now excited to be implementing USAID funded Isuku Iwacu project that will support the government of Rwanda’s sanitation work,” she said.
“The project aims to improve access and support correct and consistent use of household sanitation and hygiene facilities to decrease childhood stunting and support Rwandan’s sanitation efforts,” she added.
Stunting stands at 38percent countrywide according to officials figures.
The inaugurated Rwamagana district sanitation centre is one of eight sanitation centres which will be established by Isuku Iwacu in close collaboration with local district authorities.
Other sanitation centres will be in Kayonza, Nyanza, Ruhango,Nyabihu, Ngoma, Nyarugenge and Kicukiro each of them is expected to benefit at least 300,000 inhabitants in each district, according to Maphosa.
She also noted that the project would be delivered under three interconnected components namely behaviour change communication (BCC), engagement of the private sector as well as governance to ensure people are mobilised and understand the need to improve hygiene and sanitation before they have access to them through the private sector supplier.
Particularly, SNV will support construction of 11,357 latrines for vulnerable households.
The project has so far supported the construction of 329 improved latrines, 118 people have been trained on roles of community health clubs and households in sanitation.
Sheikh Bahame Hassan, the Director General in the Ministry of Local Government in charge of Social Affairs and Community Development hailed SNV and partners for their role in promoting sanitation in the country adding that to achieve 100 percent of hygiene and sanitation requires not only government efforts but also partners as well as the entire population.
“I am confident that we all know the role of improved hygiene and sanitation in our daily lives, we need to fully exploit the centre, understand its contribution and ensure we do all it takes to improve hygiene and sanitation in our respective homes,” he said.
He urged all the stakeholders to ensure the culture of hygiene and sanitation is promoted and made a priority to address hygiene related diseases.
“The government has a programme to ensure sanitation and hygiene at 100percent by 2020 vision but we have to ask ourselves who is the government, government is all of us and if we promote hygiene and sanitation we will be supporting efforts of the government,
” he added.
The vice mayor in charge of social affairs in Rwamagana district Jeanne Umutoni welcomed the project saying that while it would benefit hundreds of residents in the district, it will mainly help households who have unimproved latrines to gain improved hygiene and sanitation.
What residents say
Beneficiaries of the project said they were ready to benefit from the centre and ensure they have to promote hygiene and sanitation using skills and equipment from the centre.
“We are happy that we have a new centre to boost hygiene and we commit to promote hygiene, we will gain skills and we hope those who are yet to get latrines will get them” she said Liberatha Mukamana, a resident of Rwamagana from Gishari sector.
Emmanuel Tuyisenge the managing director of TEMACO Builders, a local construction company that is working with Isuku Iwacu to ensure availability of sanitation facilities including affordable improved latrines, said the company was ready to contribute to the availability of constructionmaterials to ensure nobody is left behind and that every citizen has an improved latrine.
USAID’s Acting Mission Director Leslie Marbury said USAID was very proud to partners with SNV to support Rwandans to ensure all the people especially children are healthy.
“USAID is here to support the government and people of Rwanda to become a middle income country, with clean water, sanitation and education and that is why we supported the centre because we don’t want to leave any one behind ,” she said
The district sanitation centres are fully owned by the districts and provide a wide range of sanitation technologies and products to ensure expanded access to safe and sustainable sanitation facilities, products and services.