Can you imagine life without access to clean drinking water? Do you ever turn on the tap and wonder if the water will make you or your children sick? Most of us are blessed to never have to consider this.
Burundi is a small nation in East Africa plagued by violence and poverty. Here access to water is not the problem. Instead, access to clean water poses a huge–and deadly–challenge (as we reported here.)
In 2016, the ARDF Global Council approved a second project in Buye, Burundi.
The Anglican Diocese of Buye in northern Burundi has developed an unusual, but surprisingly effective method of providing clean water to their local communities. Instead of digging wells, they protect naturally occurring springs so that the water becomes safe to drink.
In 2015, using this method, the diocese brought clean water to over 26,000. They reported that an earlier project, bringing clean water to Ruyenzi, Burundi allowed the church in that area to grow! Access to clean water has huge implications.
Our partners in Buye recently sent us an update after the first stage of implementation. Part of the mid point evaluation process is to ask the community leaders what they have learned.
We came to realize that when the beneficiaries are involved in the project identification, they participate with zeal in its implementation because they see it as their own, and therefore the results become admirable. That is why we have not met any challenge when it came to ask people their contribution. We have also realized that the number of people we were expecting participating in helping gathering stones and clearing the sites seriously increased.”
Our community based development model ensures that communities have ownership of these projects, which in turn increases the likelihood of sustainability.
Bernard Ndihoreye, one of the appointed community leaders from Giteranyi village, reports,
The Anglican Church has been a great help in my locality through this project. My people have taken the implementation as their own, and their eyes have been opened even towards other development works, I testify it because when we call them to the community works held each Saturday, they come in great number and with obedience. The water that we have got will reduce sickness due to lack of hygiene, and indirectly will contribute to the development of the community.”
Fourteen of twenty-eight springs have been improved and 28 of 56 targeted community leaders have been fully trained in spring maintenance. They are now able to train their communities about the importance of clean water and proper hygiene.
We are excited by the progress thus far and look forward to receiving the final results later this year!