Clean water is only part of the story in bringing lost lasting health changes to rural communities. To achieve the greatest health benefits, improvement in sanitation and hygiene must be made alongside access to clean water. Karungu is one of the highly water stressed villages in Rubanda District.
Adrian Ruzamaba, 69 years old, and Hope Audria, 67 years live in Karungu village, Mpungu parish, Hamurwa sub-county. They currently stay with 3 of their 10 and five grandchildren. Before receiving the WASH trainings, Adrian and his family used to drink untreated water from the pond that was shared with animals and were in-and-out of hospital due to water borne diseases.
“The money we used to spend on treating diseases like intestinal worms and flu is now saved in the village savings group. It helps us pay the children’s school fees and buy other household items like soap.”
Washing hands after visiting the toilet and before eating food was unusual and seemed water wasting and his grandchildren hardly bathed and suffered from skin infections (Dermatitis). Due to old age, it was difficult for Adrian and his wife to travel up and down the hills to fetch water and therefore their grandchildren often missed school to first fetch water; because of the water scarcity, the grand children rarely washed their school uniforms in order to spare the little water they had and consequently they would have to wear dirty uniforms to school. The family would sometimes have to pay someone 2,000Ugshs (52 cents) to fetch a jerrycan of water which was too costly for them given their economic status.