Headline: Baseline Needs Assessment: Water, sanitation, & hygiene, energy, and food security evaluation in Bisagara and Rugurama villages

In April 2021, under the “IMPACT R” project, IASS Potsdam and HEDERA Sustainable Solutions GmbH in Berlin, together with University of Rwanda and Sustainable Villages Foundation (SVF), conducted a household survey in two villages in Rwanda. SVF has started an integrated village development pilot project in those two villages and wanted to better understand the local populations’ needs and establish a baseline for impact measurement, in order to track the project’s progress over time. In parallel, focus group discussions and key stakeholder interviews were carried out. The main results are as follows: Over 80 % of households get their main income from agriculture, largely on small plots. Two-thirds of the households have USD 45 or less to spend on a 5-person family, on average. There is no public electricity grid. Half of the households have access to very basic electricity through solar systems; the other half has none at all. Over 90 % of households use wood and open fire pits or handmade clay stoves for cooking, mostly indoors, causing deforestation and health problems because of the smoke. There is no public or private drinking water supply. Villagers collect rainwater and/or surface water, which has to be carried over several kilometers by adults and children. The water is dirty and not treated before drinking in one-third of households, which triggers diseases. Only 26 % of households are classified as food-secure, whereas 15.5 % are above the severe food insecurity threshold. A significant percentage of the inhabitants does not eat a balanced diet due to lack of resources. The local community especially emphasized the need for: Priority 1: Safe drinking water Priority 2: Electricity Priority 3: Clean cooking devices

Another severe challenge is poverty in general. There is a shortage of food in terms of quantity and quality for a significant portion of the population. This is caused by households’ limited financial capacity and insufficient agricultural yield due to the absence of water for irrigation and inefficient agricultural techniques. Furthermore, teacher qualification in English and information technology (IT) is not satisfactory, and the primary school has no electricity in most of the classrooms and no computers. Professional training options are only offered far away from the villages and are very costly. New business development is hindered by the lack of electricity. The target communities seek for support to address all the above challenges and are willing to contribute their part.

RIFS Studies

Realpe Carrillo, N., Hauschopp, J., & Caiazzo, A. (2022). Baseline Needs Assessment: Water, sanitation, & hygiene, energy, and food security evaluation in Bisagara and Rugurama villages. IASS Study, October 2022.

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