Water for Communities in Rwanda

With the help of very kind donations from guests visiting Bisate Lodge, Wilderness Safaris, in partnership with the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, is rehabilitating the existing water infrastructure at Bunyenyeri and Bushokoro, both situated close to Bisate Lodge and Bisate Primary School in the Bisoke Cell, Kinigi Sector, Musanze District. This involves constructing new water infrastructure for Bushokoro as needed in collaboration with local communities.

The main purpose of the partnership is to develop and implement projects that improve access to clean water for communities and schools neighbouring Volcanoes National Park, thereby reducing anthropogenic pressure on the park and improving the livelihoods of the community members.

Although this is first and foremost a project that will support the entire community, all learners from Bisate Primary School and their families will benefit as well.

The rehabilitation and construction of the Bunyenyeri and Bushokoro water infrastructure will benefit seven villages in total: Bunyenyeri; Myase; Kazi; Kumazi; Karambi; Nyarusizi and Myase, all situated in the Bisate Lodge area, with an estimated reach of 4978 people.

The construction work started on Monday the 23rd September, and will be completed in November 2019.

Various donations from guests visiting Bisate Lodge and the surrounding community have resulted in numerous community projects, such as supplying solar lights, blankets, schools supplies, scholarships, support of the sewing, and arts and crafts projects, and clothing. Certain guests visiting Bisate Lodge have specifically donated towards the goal of improving the access to clean water in the Bisate community. This project has now become a reality on the water project, with a total value of over USD 24 500 in resources comprising construction, management and supplies for the project.

Aline Umutoni (CITW and community coordinator for Wilderness Safaris Rwanda) and Ingrid Baas (General Manager Wilderness Safaris Rwanda), together with Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International,  have worked tirelessly to establish sufficient funds and confirm the project plans and outcome.

“The people living in the villages close to Bisate Lodge often have to walk long distances to get clean water. The current water supply points are not working properly anymore and need an upgrade. We see the adults and sometimes even small children walking with their yellow containers to collect water, and we simply wanted to help, to make their lives easier and to provide more hygiene. Some of them have to walk more than one hour for a single container of water. Close to Volcanoes National Park the temptation to collect water from the National Park is very real. If the community does access the Park for water, it means a threat to the gorillas and other animals and vegetation in the park. The improvement of water access points in the local communities that are situated close to Volcanoes National Park will reduce the pressure on Volcanoes National Park and at the same time improve the living conditions of all community members. I would like to thank all the guests that contributed financially to this project – together we are changing lives.” says Ingrid Baas.

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