Rainwater harvesting

Funding required: $61,4000

Beneficiaries: 3,300 children and staff

Completion date: July 2023

Country: Rwanda

Executive summary

Clean drinking water is neither accessible nor affordable for thousands of Compassion-assisted children growing up in Rwanda—or for the frontline church partners who are working faithfully to care for these little ones.

During the dry seasons of June to August and December to February, church partners in Rwanda face the huge challenge of accessing sufficient potable water. During a typical program day when the kids gather at the church, between 600 and 800 litres of water are used for cleaning, drinking, cooking and watering gardens.

A frontline church spends about US$554 per year purchasing clean water from vendors—money that could be used to top up school fees for 17 students! Despite the steep water fees, the safety of this water is not guaranteed, posing a serious health risk to children and staff. Significant time is spent when churches try to save costs by searching for their own water sources, often over long distances—meaning other program activities take a back seat and children’s meals are delayed.

You can initiate a sustainable water solution by partnering with 14 local churches in Rwanda to install their own 10,000-litre water tanks, guttering and distribution taps for rainwater harvesting and water storage. Your gift will ensure children have access to safe drinking water, improved hygiene and sanitation practices and more time to engage with caring Christian mentors who will spur them on in their faith, schooling and life ambitions.

On-site access to safe drinking water will mean children can drink when they’re thirsty without fear of painful illnesses. Program cooks can easily prepare hot, nutritious meals for the eager kids. Child development workers can spend more time teaching and mentoring the children rather than searching for water, paying water vendors or facing other interruptions to program days. Best of all, more funds will be freed up to focus on other holistic child development priorities so children can grow up healthy, whole and hopeful for a bright future.


Did you know

Only 57 per cent of people in Rwanda have access to safe drinking water within 30 minutes of home. Children, especially girls, spend so much time collecting water that they frequently miss school. Much of the water they find is contaminated, leading to painful waterborne diseases and even death.


Compassion exists to advocate for children, to release them from spiritual, economic, social and physical poverty, and to enable them to become responsible and fulfilled Christian adults. Compassion Rwanda partners with 419 frontline church partners across the country, providing holistic child development for more than 105,419 registered children and youth.

Throughout the country, water tank interventions have found great success in creating reliable access to clean drinking water. Stories about the children’s improved health and well-being, as well as better program day operations, attest to the expected achievement of this intervention for 14 more churches who need clean water for their children.

The need

To address the serious clean water shortage and properly provide holistic care for a combined 3,000 boys and girls, 14 church partners in Rwanda need your support to create a sustainable solution.

Your gift of water tanks will directly benefit 3,000 Compassion-assisted children and 300 staff—including child development workers, pastors, committee members, volunteers and cooks from each church. The 14 selected church partners already have sufficient roof areas for rainwater harvesting, so gutter systems will be installed to direct rainwater into storage tanks. Water will be tested for quality and treated—if needed—to adhere to WHO water quality standards. Each church will provide a designated space for the tanks and will mobilize caregivers and community members to help make this dream a reality. Children will learn how they can protect their bodies from preventable diseases by engaging in simple hygiene habits like hand washing, while church leadership and staff will be trained on water conservation and management.

What your gift will do

Your investment will fund the installation of water tank systems for 14 frontline churches in Rwanda:

  • 14 10,000-litre plastic water tanks
  • Installation materials:
    • Plaster sand, gravel sand
    • Hard core stone, stone aggregate, cement
    • Timber
    • Lockable taps
    • Pipes, gutters and accessories
    • Jointing compound, binding wire, nails
  • Labour:
    • Site preparation
    • Professional labour
    • Casual labour
    • Transportation of materials
  • Sanitation and hygiene training
    • Trainer facilitation
    • Training materials and venues
    • Monitoring and evaluation


  • Local contribution: US$4,581.63; caregivers and community members will work to prepare the land and offer casual labour. Centres will also provide the facilitator and venue for hygiene training.
  • Handling of funds: Compassion Rwanda will follow financial procedures to disburse funds to each local church and will guide church partners on implementation steps.
  • Monitoring and follow-up: Church leadership will provide direct oversight on determining quantities and specifications and selecting a qualified, experienced contractor through a competitive bidding process. Program directors, committees, local pastors and partnership facilitators will monitor progress and conduct a post-implementation evaluation to ensure the durability and proper operation and maintenance of the new water tank facilities. Centre directors will provide monthly progress reports. Compassion’s Complementary Intervention Program Support Specialist and partnership facilitators will use these reports to develop a completion report.

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.