Tackling major problems in the Rwandan water sector


We are excited that over 20 applications were submitted for the third Learning Tour of VIA Water in Rwanda that will take place 4 to 6 May in Kigali. While reviewing the more than 20 applications we received for the Rwandan Learning Tour we noticed two things:  At first that over 75% of the applicants focused on three pressing needs, seven proposals focused on rainwater harvesting and storage. It appears that little activities exist yet on how to harvest the precious resources that can help reduce the shortage of water.

A second topic was greywater. There is a clear need to treat waste water from households, schools, prisons and hospitals while there is almost no treatment of wastewater yet. During the Learning Tour we will support the applicants in formulating innovative contributions to solving the problem. The last topic is a problem but four project teams are already searching for solutions in the IT sector. The problem is the inefficiency of the drinking water system and the quality of the drinking water. 

The Learning Tour will be of great importance for the project teams as many of the ideas are not suitable for full development yet. The ideas are there but they are not innovative and often not embedded in (strong) organizations with access to institutional and international knowledge and best practices. Besides that there is little reflection on how the idea could work as a long-term project. Considering the fact the ideas are still too premature and need further development we will challenge the participants in the Learning Tour to step away from their original ideas and seek new and stronger partnerships with established partners which are more capable of assuring a lasting system change.