As the world celebrated the World Toilet Day (WTD) on November 19th guided by the theme; ‘sustainable sanitation and climate change’, WaterAid Rwanda has intensified efforts in raising awareness on sanitation to reduce disease and creating healthier communities.
WaterAid Rwanda one of Rwanda’s key development partners is celebrating establishment of decent toilets. There are about 4.2 billion people living without access to safely managed sanitation globally.
An ongoing global awareness campaign is mobilizing for action to tackle the sanitation crisis and achievement of the sustainable development goal (SDG) by 2030 dubbed ‘water and sanitation for all by 2030’.
A partnership between WaterAid Rwanda and the Ministry of Health and seven districts has paid off especially through dissemination of behavior change messages on improved hygiene, through use and access to decent toilets.
For example, achievements have been registered at Groupe Scolaire Kibungo (GS Kibungo), a combined Primary and Secondary school, in Bugesera District, Ntarama sector, Kibungo cell, in Ruhengeri village. In Rwanda, celebrations were held in Bugesera district at (GS Kibingo).
GS Kibungo has 28 teachers and 1963 students (1021 males and 942 females) supported by WaterAid Rwanda; it has built an underground Rainwater harvesting Tank, Menstrual Hygiene Management room, and School latrine.
“The WTD day was an opportunity to showcase the combined toilet and water harvesting facilities established to emphasize this year’s theme ‘Sustainable Sanitation and Climate Change,” according to WaterAid Rwanda.
Meanwhile, a 90-cubic meter rain Water harvesting tank and Menstrual Hygiene management room built at GS Kibungo have been built at GS Kibungo.
In the past decade, WaterAid Rwanda has been behind the efforts to establish water storage facilities, hygiene campaigns, and sanitation in communities across the country.
Since its inception, WaterAid Rwanda has supplied safe water to more than 172,483 people; educated 221,523 about sanitation and 959,724 people have been trained on hygiene behaviour change.
Elsewhere, 338 schools, 5 health care centers, and two public places have accessed similar services including safe water, hygiene education, and sanitary facilities like menstrual sanitary rooms for girls at schools.
WaterAid Rwanda has been working in 7 districts including Bugesera, Rwamagana and Nyagatare in Eastern Province, Nyamagabe in Southern Province as well as Nyarugenge, Gasabo, and Kicukiro districts in the City of Kigali. According to WaterAid Rwanda, over Rwf7billion has been spent on conducting hygiene awareness campaigns, sanitation services, and extending safe water to the communities in the last decade.
According to the United Nations, everyone must have sustainable sanitation, alongside clean water and handwashing facilities, to help protect and maintain health security and stop the spread of deadly infectious diseases such as COVID-19, cholera, and typhoid.
The United Nations figures indicate that over a half of the global population or 4.2 billion people lack safe sanitation and 40% – or three billion people – of the global population live without basic hand washing facilities with soap and water available at home.
Moreover, some 297,000 children under five – more than 800 every day – die annually from diarrhea diseases due to poor hygiene, poor sanitation, or unsafe drinking water in the world.