Hundreds of students at Rambura Girls Secondary School in Nyabihu District, Northern Rwanda, had been subjected to an odd lifestyle for years.
Normally, after or during a meal, one needs a glass of water for drinking. Strangely, students at Rambura have been getting water to drink only when it is hot or warm.
Due to lack of access to clean water, the school has been boiling the water for the hundreds of students. Unfortunately, with no cooling facilities, students would be forced to drink it the way it is.
“We would never quench our thirst, we just drunk it like that. Anyone who wanted cool or cold water would choose to drink unboiled water,” says Davina Ndengako, a senior three student.
But this is not the only water problem the school has been facing before a Good Samaritan came to their rescue.
Even water for cooking and washing had to be fetched from a further distance away from the school premises. As a solution, the school has been harvesting rainwater into a tank.
But all that is a gone story.
Ecobank Rwanda has offered the school a state-of-the-art water purifying tank and another large volume water tank tapped from the main grid at a tune of over Rwf8m.
As part of its annual “Ecobank Day” since 2013 to improve the living conditions of the communities it works for, the bank installed water tanks under the theme: “Safe Water, Healthy Living.”
Rambura Girls Secondary School was selected by Rwanda Education Board as one the schools that needed close attention. The girls’ school accommodates 472 students.
“The theme of our activities this year is “safe water, healthy living,” said Ecobank Managing Director Alice Kilonzo.
UNICEF states that of the 2.1 billion people around the world who lack access to safe clean drinking water, almost half live in sub-Saharan Africa. “So this is a very real and disturbing problem facing our continent,” added Kilonzo.
She said that, “a lack of safe drinking water not only impacts health, but also education and economic opportunities, thus perpetuating a seemingly inescapable cycle of poverty.”
Ecobank’s generosity is thus a gesture of concern that growing environmental pollution across Africa means, “we have reached a point where all sources of our drinking water, including municipal water systems, wells, lakes, rivers, contain some level of contamination.”
Ndengako and her follow students couldn’t hide their gratitude; neither could local authorities and the school staff.
The Vice Mayor of Nyabihu District, Antoine Mugwiza who attended event said that, “We are happy now that we have been given tanks which will give safe us clean and cool drinking water. ”Water is life”, he said.
Meanwhile, Ecobank also donated books and later mingled with students and shared cool moments with the bank’s staff.
“Today, we donated Safe and Clean Water Tanks here and it is my hope that in doing so we will have resolved some of the key challenges you have historically faced,” said Ecobank MD
“Ecobank will keep a close relationship with the School and also keep the awareness of the clean water for all cause, but first it starts with us as individuals, Its Starts with you,” she said.
As the bank’s staff bid farewell, Ndengako and her schoolmates waved with jubilant smiles on their faces, for obvious reasons, their thirst had been quenched.