World Vision Brought Clean Water to More Than 1 Million Rwandans

How the world’s largest nongovernmental provider of the resource is delivering on its promise.

For years, whenever Regina Mukasimpunga sat in church, she found it hard to concentrate on anything other than the chore awaiting her when service let out: fetching water.

The never-ending task dominated the life of the rural Rwandan community, forcing residents to leave the house with jerry cans before the sun came up to take long walks in the darkness in the hilly terrain to reach a spring. There, they often competed with other families to fill jugs, everyone desperate to move on with their days as quickly as possible.

“We would wake up at 5 a.m. to get water, which often took two hours. When we finished, we were exhausted,” said Mukasimpunga, at her home in Gicumbi district, about 60 kilometers (37 miles) south of the capital, Kigali. “We couldn’t farm productively.”

Mukasimpunga and her husband, Fulgence Ndemeye, enlisted their three children to help, but the job could last so long it made the children late for school, their tardiness earning them reprimands from their teachers and challenging their ability to keep up in school and study when at home.

Then, in 2021, World Vision opened a water station about 50 meters (164 feet) from their home. The life change was immediate: Now, everyone could start their day on time, take more showers, and wash their clothes more frequently. Mukasimpunga and Ndemeye could grow tomatoes year-round and not just during the rainy season. They could triple the livestock water ration, which meant their cow gave them more milk, which they could sell to their neighbors. The family’s economics improved so much, they were able to join a savings group.

Mukasimpunga and Ndemeye’s story is just one of many. The same story has happened over and over again in …

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