Rwanda’s Water Access Challenges

12 February, 2021 | Amie Nevin
Categories: Rwanda, Safe Water

We’re pleased to see a country we work in to deliver safe water to rural communities featured on BBC News in the last month.


The eye-opening video follows 17-year-old Joyce, who lives in Rwanda. She is on a mission to make clean water accessible for people in Rwanda and understand the barriers people face to access safe water. Joyce explores water challenges faced by rural communities in Rwanda, highlighting the stark reality of what they face daily to access water, a drastic difference to modern infrastructure.

This includes having limited functioning local infrastructure, such as taps, so communities must travel long distances to the closet water source, which is usually unclean water. Additionally, a reliance on jerry cans to transport water long distances home, making the long journey difficult and strenuous. Additionally, it highlighted the devastating risk of collecting water from unsafe lakes, where there have been incidences of children drowning whilst doing the daily domestic task. Unfortunately, the families have no choice but to return to the dangerous locations to access any water.

As highlighted by Joyce, across rural Rwanda, access to safe water is a serious challenge, where ‘without safe access to clean water, lives are put at risk’.


Access to clean water for all, is goal six in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, a target the global community is trying to achieve by 2030. Joyce wanted to know if this was achievable. Worldwide, 2.2 billion people still lack access to safe drinking water (

Working to achieve this goal, CO2balance work with communities most in need across Africa, including Rwanda, rehabilitating broken community handpumps, to deliver safe water to those relying on unsafe sources. The projects we implement offset the release of carbon emissions, whilst also improving the accessibility and provision of safe water in rural communities.

CO2balance in Rwanda – Our Gatsibo Safe Water Project

The area within which Joyce lives is Gatsibo District, where CO2balance has supported a Safe Water Project, which involves the rehabilitation of 63 boreholes across the district.

It is great to see Rwanda’s water challenges being highlighted to raise awareness of the invaluable work being done within here to help achieve this global aim. The projects we have implemented within Rwanda, not only work to achieve climate security, but improve the resilience and development of the communities involved through the provision of safe water.


Joyce also highlighted her position on her school WASH Committee – WASH stands for Safe Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, which are principles all interlinked to ensure good hygiene to keep people alive and healthy and reduce the transmission of water-related diseases. She is working to raise awareness amongst her school members the importance of safe water, access to toilet facilities and soap for cleanly handwashing.

Every CO2balance Safe Water Project we implement includes the provision of trainings and demonstrations of good water and sanitation practices, to raise awareness of them and promote their adoption within every community involved in the project. This promotes a better understanding of clean water, collecting and storing it is clean, secure containers as well as the importance of handwashing with soap.  

The BBC video was part of Project 17, a World Service series produced in collaboration with the Open University by which 17-year-olds look at progress in the different UN 17 SDG Goals.