Can you imagine not knowing if one of your kids is coming back safe from collecting water? The fear for crocodiles is something that is constantly in the mind of parents in certain rural areas of Rwanda. Added to this is the fear and the reality of sicknesses such as cholera and other pathogenic illnesses that can cause diarrhoea and consequently death.
Because of the difficult accessibility to clean water in Rwanda and the risks it conveys, Water Access Rwanda (WARwanda) started implementing the INUMA project “purified clean water”. The INUMA kiosks solve these problems and improve quality of life in rural and peri-urban communities.
The first two INUMA kiosks were completed in July of 2017. By July 2018 WARwanda has built 13 INUMA kiosks with prospects of increasing their network by 50 units. This means they will provide service for more than 100,000 individuals. INUMA has different modes: INUMA node, single kiosks that can connect to a central INUMA nexus and the final solution, INUMA Now that will connect the grid to households and will provide them with 24/7 clean water access.
What is best about this project is that it directly tackles 8 of the Sustainable developments goals for 2030 and 6 indirectly which sums up to a total of 14 out of 17 SDGs.
The company, WARwanda goes by the motto “Simple, affordable, durable water solutions”. This project is the perfect combination of those three values. The INUMA Nexus is at the same time a Water Source, a Water treatment facility and Water distribution facility.
It is as SIMPLE as obtaining potable water can get, the small grid of solar powered kiosks is energy sufficient and purifies water through a small system containing two filters and a chlorine pump to preserve the clean water characteristics through time. The simple mechanism used in INUMA to clear the water guarantees water quality and purification from boreholes. In addition, the team has trained over 2,855 households in WASH (hygiene and sanitation education).
AFFORDABLE: the cost of water is 20RWF (0,023 USD) per 20L of purified water, that makes it up to 50 times cheaper than other options in Rwanda.
DURABLE: WARwanda uses high quality materials and has developed the INUMA model so that it annually covers for replacements. Plus, kiosks have their own source of energy from solar panels. All in all, they are completely sustainable.
This contributes to three goals; #3 Good Health and well-being, #6 Clean Water and Sanitation (Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and #7 Affordable and clean energy.
Moreover, the kiosks provide more than just sustainable access to water, they also provide decent work and economic growth. WARwanda has invested RWF 31,090,872 in youth employment/training in 2015&2016.
INUMA is all about connecting and reaching more people. Which directly influences women and youth. INUMA brings the water source close to their homes, drastically reducing danger and the time involved in fetching water each day. This enables children to attend school and women to engage in other activities and jobs which empower them. WARwanda directly contributes to this SDG hiring employees for their INUMA kiosks where 42% of them are Female. Children can now attend school and receive a quality education that improves their future.
"Now I can follow in class without thinking about when and how I am going to fetch water because I know at INUMA kiosks, water is always available” Said a 13 year old young lady living in Rwintare Village.
This contributes to reaching another two goals; #5 Gender equality (Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls) and #4 Quality Education.
Last but not least, providing rural and peri-urban areas with clean water has an effect on the #13 SDG: Climate action. Historically, the only way this people could obtain potable water was by boiling it, thus producing CO2. More than 80% of the people surveyed in the rural areas of Rwanda that had no access to clean water still use this method.
All in all, this project has a clear positive impact on the community; it has created as many jobs as kiosks, it takes away the burden from women and children of having to walk every day to a water source and it avoids pathogenic illnesses that can lead to death indirectly contributing to Quality Education as children stay in school longer and do not have so many days off. The model used contributes to the overall efficiency, easy maintenance and high productivity. Its sustainability and durability contribute to reach the goal #11; sustainable cities and communities.