World Vision’s expertise in the prevention of the spread of infectious disease has never been more important than during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most important activities to prevent the spread of the virus is to ensure that people have a way to wash their hands and understand why it’s so critical. And of course, you can’t wash your hands effectively without clean water.
Last year, we announced a new audacious goal of providing clean water to everyone, everywhere we work in Rwanda by 2022. This article provides an update on that effort.
Our commitment to Rwanda is complementary and flows out of two other high-profile commitments that we have made for World Vision’s water programs. The biggest goal is to reach everyone, everywhere we work with clean water, which is 50 million people, by 2030. This is consistent with and shows World Vision’s commitment to help achieve the UN Sustainable Goal 6.0 of universal access to clean water and sanitation by 2030. To ensure that we stay on track, we set an interim goal of reaching 20 million people between 2015 and 2020. We’re on track towards both of these and have reached 10.4 million people with clean water in the first 2.5 years.
Easy and sustainable access to clean water changes everything. Once World Vision provides a water source in a community, we want to make sure that the water continues to flow.
Through independent evaluations, we have learned a key predictor of long-term sustainability of the water points is to have a water committee that takes ownership of the water point. Critical work of the water committee is to charge a small and affordable fee so that there are funds available for ongoing maintenance and repair. World Vision has an excellent record of long-term sustainability of water points because we are able to walk alongside communities for an average of 15 years to ensure that the water committee is self-sufficient.