"Vulnerable women are exploited for water, which spreads HIV."

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Have a Good Life

Providing Access to Clean Water in a Rural Mountainous Community to Fight Violence Against Women

Issue: We live on top of a mountain where there is no public water access, forcing the residents of Nyarugenge to walk one hour or more to find dirty water in a neighboring valley. As a result, there is a high level of disease in the area, including cholera, typhoid, and diarrhea. Women, particularly those who are handicapped or vulnerable, are often sexually exploited in exchange for water, increasing rates of HIV/AIDS in our community. In addition, women are affected even further by this issue since lack of water serves as a trigger for domestic violence and family conflict.

Mission: To end violence against women by providing water access to our community

Solution: Have a Good Life has constructed a water tank and water access point, and has extended the local water pipeline to their community of Nyarugenge. In addition to serving 200 families with purified water, they regularly hold community trainings about the importance of clean water to prevent water borne disease.

12-Month Goals:

  • Within 1 year, at least 1200 people will have access to clean water
  • In 1 year, reduce the problem of violence and sexual exploitation associated with lack of access to water
  • Within 1 year, reduce water related illnesses among women and children
  • Within 1 year, increase the personal hygiene of the community

Impact: Since beginning operations in 2010, more than 200 households within this community now have access to clean water, water-borne illnesses have been reduced, as have rates of domestic violence. Good hygiene has been dramatically increased. Additionally, Have a Good Life uses proceeds from their water venture to provide health insurance to 14 vulnerable households and school materials to 21 orphaned or very poor children.

As part of the high-engagement development phase, Global Grassroots requires that venture teams conduct a baseline study within the community they intend to serve. These studies often produce valuable, and sometimes surprising information that allows ventures to better understand their issue and tailor their programs to meet the needs of the community. When Have a Good Life came back with their baseline study, they were dismayed to find that 81.4% of respondents had traded sex for water and 100% of them knew someone who had contracted HIV from doing so. Despite this, only 25% of respondents had taken an HIV test themselves. Seeing this information the team quickly decided that they also needed to incorporate HIV testing and prevention into their programming.

Project Details

Have A Good Life

Location: Nyarugenge District, Kigali City
Team Members: 20
Beneficiaries: 1200
Launched: 2010

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