SFH improving access to safe water in Muhanga District

Domitien Uwihaye (not real name), 40, a resident of Shyogwe Sector in Muhanga District and her family of four, became victims of stomach pain, strange fever and diarrhea.
The Sur’Eau water purifier distributed by Society for Family Health is doing wonders in meeting the wellness needs of people across the country.   The New Times/ Ivan Ngoboka.
The Sur’Eau water purifier distributed by Society for Family Health is doing wonders in meeting the wellness needs of people across the country. The New Times/ Ivan Ngoboka.

Domitien Uwihaye (not real name), 40, a resident of Shyogwe Sector in Muhanga District and her family of four, became victims of stomach pain, strange fever and diarrhea.

“The stomach would start grumbling any time and it would be embarrassing if you were in public,” she says.

They kept visiting the hospital for treatment. But this drained them of finance since the family was not covered by medical insurance then.

When this persisted, Uwihaye consulted a local medicine man, in fear that her family had “angered the gods.”

“Even after doing that, and fulfilling all the sacrifices the medicine man asked of us, the situation not improve at all.”

It was not until she heard from a neighbour that their health problem could be a result of using unclean water. The neighbour said Uwihaye should consider boiling drinking water to kill germs.

“These ailments disappeared after days of taking boiled water, and we were deeply thankful,” she says.

However, another challenge showed up. Boiling water all the time became impractical, since she had to find time to attend to her crop and beekeeping farm too.

She did not have the money to employ casual labourers, her children were too young to help in the farm and her husband was estranged from home.

“I found it difficult to juggle spending nine hours in the farm, and getting back home to do certain chores like boiling water,” she says.

Her neighbour again came in handy with the news about a new water treatment product called Sur’Eau in retail shops just at Rwf300.

It was not long before she acquired it, and  after a few days of using, all the previous problems came to  rest, and life took a smooth  turn.

According to Bonaventure Rutagengwa, an Society for Family Health (SFH) regular programme co-ordinator for Southern Province, they are involved in sensitising residents about safe water through platforms like mobile cinema services and sound systems.

He adds that in May, over more than community health workers in Muhanga District were equipped with safe water-related skills.

“People in rural areas are responding to our sensitisation campaigns by using more of our water  treatment products, but some in Muhanga town are reluctant, having a perception that tap water is always safe,” Rutagengwa said.

He added that Pur is another water purifier SFH markets in the district.

Subscribe to The New Times E-Paper


You want to chat directly with us? Send us a message on WhatsApp at +250 788 310 999    

 

Follow The New Times on Google News