As we built the kiosks, it came time to find employees to operate them and sell water day in and day out. The first recruit was Damascene, He was the first one among 22 men and women with whom we have so far shared our vision for water access and entrusted them with the duty of keeping the kiosk open and dispensing water to all fetchers.
It wasn't that easy for him at first as people were starving for water; they would come anytime and anyhow expecting for him to work 24/7. They would come in the middle of the night and knock at Damascene's house even at 4:00AM. These early fetchers feared a reality they were used to, one of water never being enough and not running during open hours of a kiosk.
It took more than 3 months for them understand and believe that INUMA water will always be there, that there is no need to come at 4:00AM but that even at 4pm water will still be there. With time trust was built and now the opening and closing time of the kiosks are respected, with even the longest line not a hurdle for someone to access the clean water.
These kind of experiences made us learn a lot of things on how to deal with the communities that are served by the systems we install. It takes time for them to understand and internalize the rules but when you have the right people at the right place success comes for sure.
someone once said that" Opportunities may come to people who are at the right place at the right time, but success comes to those who persist." Damascene persisted in those hard time as he worked to serve neighbors even as they interrupted his rest. he didn't give up because he knew what he was fighting for was worth it. He knew how his community suffered from disease due to consuming unclean water and so he decided to fight and make sure his community is having safe and pure water. But he also slowly convinced them at waking him up at 4am was not ok.
This is what we call creative perseverance!
All along the way, we were identifying more communities that were suffering from water scarcity in Kigali, which means that more kiosks were built meaning more kiosks attendants and night guards. Keep watch on our blog to learn more about each attendant (Our Nexus and Nodes Heroes) who makes the INUMA experience a reality.