Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Whenever I leave the city center of Kigali, Rwanda, I see land scattered with people, agriculture and yellow plastic containers used for water. Whether it is a group of kids sitting on the side of the road drinking from their fry oil container, women carrying jugs both on their heads and in their hands or men trudging them across a field, they are all over the place. People are using these containers, most of which are old cooking oil containers, to collect water from public pumps. For many these pumps are the only source of clean water they have access to. The problem is that pumps can be far away from villages that do not touch the main roads. Karambe Village in Bugesere district is one of these. The village was prey to violence during the genocide in 1994, leaving many of the villagers massacred. Since then, some who fled and survived have returned and other family members of those deceased have come to claim land and live from it. Most of the population consists of subsistence farmers. They do not always use clean water because the closest pump is still miles away. Many kids are in school and sent to fetch water when they come home at night but families often resort to pools of dirty water for collection. Fred Rwangasana who has started a chicken coup, banana farm and mushroom project in Karambe, all while holding a job in Kigali, will be helping to facilitate this competition. Within a few weeks we will hear more about the village and its project!

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