Projects for Peace: The Vision of Kathryn W. Davis

"My challenge to you is to bring about a mind-set of preparing for peace, instead of preparing for war."

Clean Water for Life

Project #
University of Florida
  • Jessica McElroy

Clean Water for Life

Jessica returned to Rwanda for the third time last summer, this time with a Davis Projects for Peace grant aimed at bringing clean water sources to a Twa community. The United Nations has described the Twa as the forgotten victims of the Rwandan war, marginalized by prejudice from all ethnic groups in their country and desperately poor. With no nearby water sources, community members were forced to walk hours each day for small quantities of often contaminated water.

After surveying community members about their water usage, Jessica worked with volunteers to construct five 2,000-to-3,000-liter rainwater tanks and 50 household BioSand filters. The rainwater tanks store water in central locations and the filters provide safe drinking water to families by effectively purifying contaminated water. The tanks and the filters will have an impact on the lives of hundreds in the Twa community for years to come. Jessica complemented the construction projects with an education component that included household visits and instruction in safe water handling and good hygiene practices as well as a community mural painting project on the actual water tanks designed to depict safe water habits.