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Rwanda: water supplies restored

10-04-1996 News Release 96/14

Many of the inhabitants of Gikongoro prefecture in Rwanda are once again receiving direct supplies of drinking water, and therefore no longer have to make long and arduous trips on foot to fetch it. Working under ICRC auspices, the American Red Cross has just completed a water-supply and sanitation project - one of nine undertaken in the prefectures of Gikongoro and Butare. " Restoring a direct supply of drinking water is one of the most pressing needs in Rwanda " , said Markus Baechler, the ICRC's water and sanitation coordinator, speaking at the ceremony to inaugurate the new system. " When work started here, not a single drop was making it through to the public standpipes along this 48-kilometre network " .

Running parallel to the actual rehabilitation work is a programme to make people aware of the need to take care of water-supply systems. The point is being put across in particular by means of a play that has been performed in recent weeks, which also shows people ways to avoid disease caused by contaminated water.