Following their introduction to community based planning; what it is, it’s importance and how it is done, the community in Nyabigoma cell, Kinigi sector, Rwanda did village profiling of their development challenges and ranked the lack of water as the main problem faced by the community. It was noted that the average person trekked 1.5 KM to get to a water source and paid 35 francs for a Jerrycan of water (20Ltrs). With guidance from IGCP, the community developed a project proposal to address this need and IGCP in partnership with WASAC (Water and Sanitation Corporation) funded it to completion.
Community members offered man power and dug the 2.5 KM trench for the water pipes and also offered land where the three community tap stands were erected.
The scheme whose source is from river Mutobo in Gataranga sector is currently serving about 600 households in Nyabigoma cell. Since the completion of the gravity flow scheme, the community is happy to have water closer and at a lower cost – 20 francs per 20Ltrs jerrycan of water. “Having water this close in our community, is like a dream come true; for so long many people promised to draw water to Nyabigoma but none of their promises came to pass. We are grateful to IGCP and all its donors for this help” remarks Josephine, a mother in Nyabigoma.
Community based planning empowers communities to assess their community problems, identify local solutions to them and be instruments of their own development. This work is part of IGCP’s interventions to ensure effective and equitable use of tourism benefits (revenue sharing, lodge income, etc.) towards conservation and development. The project not only facilitated the improved access to water, but also demonstrated to the community the rewards of prioritizing projects from the grassroots. Other projects identified through community-based planning are receiving funds from revenue from lodges (Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge in Rwanda; Clouds Mountain Gorilla Lodge in Uganda) as well as revenue sharing funds.