Safe water

Funding required: $50,100

This project will help: 2,475 Compassion-assisted children, staff members and volunteers

Completion date: August 2023

Country: Rwanda

Executive summary

Compassion is committed to providing children with access to safe water as an essential part of their holistic care. However, this is still a major struggle for some of our church partners in Rwanda. In the western part of the country in the Rusizi district, nine of our partners still do not have access to clean water at their facilities. Despite being located near the national water grid, these churches do not have the financial resources they need to connect to the grid via pipelines.

The lack of available water has made it increasingly difficult for staff to run centre activities in a timely and effective way. Each centre day, children are served porridge for breakfast as well as a full lunch, including water for drinking. In addition, the dishes, utensils and cooking pans all need to be cleaned, which requires yet more water. Churches estimate that they need between 600 and 800 litres of water every Saturday to run their programming successfully.

Without a steady supply of water at their facilities, churches are having to purchase water elsewhere, from unreliable water sources—an effort that is both time and cost-intensive. Even though church staff are boiling the water before use, this is not sufficient to render it safe. Many children are suffering from hygiene-related illnesses like chronic diarrhea, malnutrition, intestinal parasites, skin and eye infections and even cholera and typhoid. Frequent absences from school due to illness are causing children to fall behind academically. And in severe cases, these illnesses can be life-threatening. Our partners in the Rusizi district need access to clean water as soon as possible.

This intervention will see nine frontline church partners in the Rusizi district of Rwanda connected to the national water grid, benefitting 2,250 beneficiaries and 225 staff members and volunteers. This will give staff access to clean water to use during meal preparation and other related activities. Our church partners will also train the children in good hygiene and sanitation practices. With easy access to clean water, church partners will save time and money and centre staff look forward to seeing a reduction in water-related illnesses among the children. By providing nine church partners with access to clean water via pipeline connection to the national water grid, you can help these communities vastly improve hygiene and sanitation conditions, keep children in school and their Compassion centres and save lives that might otherwise have been lost to preventable diseases.

Did you know?

Only 76 per cent of Rwandans have access to clean water, leaving millions still reliant on contaminated water sources like ponds and streams.



Helping our frontline church partners access clean water is a key initiative for Compassion Rwanda. Our WaSH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) interventions across the nation have substantially improved health and hygiene conditions for thousands of children. Now, nine of our partners in the Rusizi district need help. While located less than 1,000 metres from the national water grid, churches don’t have the financial resources to connect to the system. Clean, safe water is available virtually at their front doors—but they can’t afford to access it. As a result, churches are having to purchase their water from unreliable sources just to run centre activities each week. This is incredibly costly; the amount of money spent on purchasing one month’s worth of water is roughly equivalent to the cost of three months of potable water from the national grid. Furthermore, the purchased water is often not safe for use and is causing children to suffer from frequent gastrointestinal illnesses and skin infections. Over time, children who miss school often due to illness become increasingly likely to drop out. The physical toll of these illnesses can also be severe and, in some cases, fatal.

The need

Safe water supply plays a crucial role in children’s health, education and emotional well-being. Without access to this essential service, children are vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses like diarrhea, cholera and typhoid, as well as severe malnutrition due to impaired nutrient absorption. Over time, frequent absences from school due to illness often lead to children dropping out entirely. Sadly, this is exactly what nine Compassion centres in western Rwanda face.

You can provide 2,250 children and 225 centre staff and volunteers from nine churches in Rwanda with access to safe, clean water by helping churches lay pipelines to connect their buildings to the national water grid. Churches will form project committees to oversee this intervention, and work alongside a Compassion partnership facilitator throughout the process. We will ensure that all required permits are obtained, and that a licensed technician will provide the connection services. Children, caregivers and church staff will attend hygiene workshops to learn preventive hygiene and sanitation measures. Based on the success of previous WaSH initiatives in Rwanda, we expect to see a drastic reduction in hygiene-related illnesses among children, which will also improve their attendance and performance at school.

What your gift will do

Your gift will help nine churches in the Rusizi district of Rwanda access safe water through a pipeline connection to the national water grid, including:

  • Subscription to water distributor
  • Materials:
    • Pipes and PVC hoses
    • Water metre (one per church)
    • Ball valves, adapters and union couplings
    • Faucets (three per church)
  • Water tank installation
    • Gravel, sand, stone, aggregate and timber
    • Lockable taps (two per church)
    • Cement, binding wire and nails
  • Skilled labour
  • WaSH training
    • Training materials
    • WaSH consultation
    • Impact evaluation


  • Local contribution:US$7,579.90; a team of volunteers will dig the trenches for the new pipelines. Churches will cover the costs of transportation and donate the use of their buildings for the hygiene workshops.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Rwanda will distribute funds to the nine churches and ensure that this intervention remains within budget.
  • Monitoring and follow-up:Centre directors, church pastors, project committees and a partnership facilitator will work together to oversee this initiative. Churches will submit monthly progress reports to the partnership facilitator a completion report in October 2023.

No less than 80 per cent of your donation will be used for program activities and a maximum of 20 per cent for fundraising and administration. If we exceed our funding goal for the initiative shown, the remaining funds will be used to fund other programs where the need is greatest.