UNICEF Hands Over Vehicles to Promote Access to Water and Sanitation in Rwanda
Kigali, September 6, 2010 – At a ceremony to hand-over five twin-cabin pickups to the districts of Rubavu, Nyabihu, Burera and Musanze to accelerate access to safe water and improved sanitation for at least half a million people in the next three years, UNICEF’s Representative to Rwanda, Dr. Joseph Foumbi, reiterated the importance of water, sanitation and good hygiene in helping to achieve Millennium Development Goals.
“Activities to provide access to water and sanitation and improve basic hygiene practices are especially important in Rwanda as diarrhea remains one of the leading killers of children under five and because 80% of all preventable diseases that affect Rwandans are waterborne”, he explained. “Rwanda is already on track to achieve MDG4, namely to reduce by two-thirds mortality amongst its under-five population. This initiative to improve access to water and sanitation will certainly contribute to those efforts”, he added.
This initiative, known as the WASH project, is a joint undertaking of the Government of Rwanda, the Government of the Netherlands, local communities and UNICEF. It seeks to expand use of safe drinking water facilities, provide access to improved sanitation and mobilize communities to practice good hygiene.
The vehicles will be used to monitor project implementation in schools and health centers, as well as spread important hygiene messages to communities in hard-to-reach areas.