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Development project 13 of 16
Water Collection in Rwanda
Communities around the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda
Mountain gorillas
Local Partner:   ARASI

Water collection is one of the main reasons for trespassing into the Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. This not only disturbs and pollutes the forest, having a negative effect on the mountain gorillas, but can also hinder school attendance, as it is often children that collect water for their families. In 2000, the Gorilla Organization partnered with ARASI (Association Rwandaise pour l'Amenagement et le Sauvegarde des Infrastructures Socio-economiques) to build water cisterns in the communities surrounding the national park. Cisterns are constructed alongside schools and churches to collect water from their roofs, and supply water for approximately eight months of the year. A 15m3 cistern can provide water for up to 1,000 people, while a 25m3 cistern can provide water for up to 1,500 people.

The overall objective of the project is to provide clean drinking water for local communities surrounding the Volcanoes National Park, alleviating pressure on the gorilla habitat. The specific objectives are:

  • To construct water cisterns using local stone
  • To establish local management committees for each cistern
  • To provide information and training in cistern management



To date, the Gorilla Organization has constructed a total of 36 water cisterns in the communities surrounding the Volcanoes National Park, providing water for around 37,000 people. Each cistern has a committee in place that is trained to oversee maintenance and repair. This ensures that the cisterns continue to work efficiently, benefiting as many people as possible. During 2009, up to four more cisterns will be constructed through the project, and committees will be established for each of these.


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