Rwanda : drinking water for prison inmates

Following the events in Rwanda in the 1990s, prison populations reached all-time highs. Yet, the country’s prison water supply infrastructure was only partially adapted to this growth. Antenna Foundation in partnership with MajiMaisha (local Antenna representatives) provided WATA devices and trained Rwandan Correctional Services staff on their use under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The ICRC first equipped the prisons of Gitarama and Rilima, with a total population of 11,000 inmates, with two Maxi-WATA™ in order to produce chlorine locally. The ICRC also trained prison personnel on hygiene and sanitation issues. Given the positive results, we extended the project to 9 other prisons – for a total of 11 prisons and reaching more than 50,000 inmates – using 14 Mini- and Maxi-WATA™. In addition to steep reductions in water-borne diseases (between 46% and 100% reductions), prisons also reached annual combined savings of USD 30,000/year.

General objective : Improve hygiene conditions and facilitate access to drinking water in prisons

Beneficiaries : 50,000 inmates

Annual savings for prisons : USD 30,000

Partners : International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), MajiMaisha-Antenna, Rwanda Correctional Services

Project duration : 2012-2016

Lessons learnt :

  • Popularise the material explaining the WATA technology for locals in order for them to better understand it and to increase trust in it.
  • Further explain the importance of regularly maintaining the electrolyser and provide follow-up on the different instruments.
  • Implicate additional stakeholders (such as a local person in charge) at an early stage in the programme’s implementation.

For more information, read the summary. (link?)