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Ishywa: Potable water changed lives for good

In February 2018, Ishywa Cell, Nkombo sector, Rusizi District, Western Province got a visit of three Water Access Rwanda technicians. I was among those technicians. it was the beginning of the journey to access clean and safe water for more than 457 households ( 2600 people).

The Island is surrounded by lake Kivu. It offers a beautiful view and rejoicing sights such as people crossing the lake in boat singing, coming and going to work in the neighboring islands or heading for Kamembe-the big city of Rusizi. Standing at the top of Ishywa island I saw something, in the lake was a woman washing her dishes, drinking lake water and giving it to her young baby boy who was in her back. T This image always comes in my mind whenever Ishywa island is mentioned.

Several households with muddy and raw bricks houses live on the island without any reliable source of clean and safe water. Men, women, and children from those homes queued with jerrycans in their hands to fetch water in Lake Kivu.

“If we can get clean and safe water at the Ishywa, it can change our lives for good. Now this seems like a dream as several people from Kamembe, even those from Kigali, have been coming here and none has come back with a solution” Mukamana, 46, a mother of three children, a jerrycan in hand said to our team.

The visit of Water Access Rwanda at the island made a difference and brought reliable and durable water solution effective 15th December 2018.

What innovation! what technology! What creativity! People stared amazed as we implemented our promised solution. We have not even seen this INUMA™ in Kamembe! They exclaimed.

You made a difference and you kept the promise. This should be reported everywhere for the first time at Ishywa island we got clean, safe drinking water!!! Ishywa population commented.

Portable water reduces illnesses Before 2018, Ishywa population was used to illnesses due to dirty water. They fetched the water in lake Kivu for all their needs.

“We have registered 49 cases of cholera from August to September 2017 and most of them would die due to the long trajectory being transferred to the nearby health center by boat. The common diseases here are waterborne such as diarrhea, intestinal worms, dysentery, and amoeba among others” TUYISHIME Antoine, Nurse at Ishywa health post, said.

From December 2018 till now and on, at Ishywa, people are safe in terms of getting access to clean, safe drinking water. They should no longer suffer from illnesses caused by dirty water. It is true Life has changed for good.

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