plan 335Water Treatment System for Shyira


With community support, Manna Energy Limited will build a water treatment system that will provide safe drinking water for almost 8000 residents of Shyira. The system uses local materials to create a water treatment system powered by sunlight and gravity.


In Rwanda the leading causes of death are, in order: HIV/AIDS, lower respiratory infections and diarrheal diseases. When contracted by a person living with HIV or AIDS, diarrheal diseases significantly raise their chance of dying. Hence, an HIV positive child is 11 times more likely to die if they have diarrhea. Children and adults living in Rwanda often become stricken with diarrheal disease as a result of drinking contaminated water. This project will address these health problems by providing a reliable source of clean drinking water accessible to HIV/AIDS patients and the community at large.

Since the vast majority of the population in rural Rwanda does not have access to clean drinking water, some residents are cutting down biomass or buying firewood on the local market and burning it to boil water. According to a study by the United States Agency for International Development, 50-70% of Rwandans are treating water by boiling which uses firewood. The Republic of Rwanda National Forestry Policy reports that the national forest cover has decreased by 65% since 1960, and the demand for wood is continuing to increase with population growth. As a direct consequence to deforestation and subsequent burning, carbon is being released into the atmosphere and contributing to climate change. Additionally, poverty is prevalent due to the resources needed to purchase or harvest firewood and because drinking unclean water leads to water-borne diseases that often prevent residents from attending work or school. This project will address these environmental and development challenges by providing an alternative method of sanitizing water that uses solar power, which will result in less deforestation, lower carbon emissions, and resource reallocation toward schooling, employment and nutrition.


Shyira, Nyabihu, Rwanda


Primary Focus: Drinking Water - Community
Secondary Focus: Climate Change Adaptation

People Getting Safe Drinking Water: 8,000

120 hospital staff and patients, 383 vocational school students, 835 secondary school students, 968 primary school students, 54 preschool students, 100 military personnel, other community members.

School Children Getting Water: 1,857

835 secondary school students, 968 primary school students, 54 preschool students.

People Getting Sanitation: 0

People Getting Other Benefits: 100

Construction jobs, Manna employees

Start Date: 2011-06-01

Completion Date: 2011-12-01

Technology Used:

With community support, Manna Energy Limited will build a water treatment system that will provide safe drinking water for almost 8000 residents of Shyira. The system uses locally available materials to create a water treatment system powered by sunlight and gravity. Water passes through a gravity-fed gravel filter, a gravity-fed sand filter, and then around an ultraviolet light that kills any remaining pathogens. Technical assessment will begin with a baseline survey, water quality assessment, and technical design work. This will be followed by materials procurement and construction of the water treatment facility.

Once the water treatment facility is fully operational, it will be linked to the existing water distribution pipeline. This pipeline serves one preschool, two primary schools, two secondary schools, a vocational school, military camp, hospital, and a cooperative of women with HIV/AIDS, as well as being accessible to community members in general.

The water treatment facility will be equipped with a Remote Monitoring System (RMS) which will allow the system to operate autonomously, notifying Manna Energy Limited staff via Rwanda’s expanded GSM network of the water quality/quantity being utilized and if a failure occurs. The RMS will measure actual volume of water treated per day through flow totalizers that measure flow rate and provide volumetric flow of treated water. This information will be used to apply for carbon credits with the United Nations (UN) and to develop a funding mechanism to enable the system to operate in the foreseeable future. Routine maintenance will be performed to ensure the water treatment systems operate correctly for a period of at least ten years.

The implementation of the water treatment system will provide a safe, sustainable source of drinking water for the community members of Cyimanzovu, including those living with HIV/AIDS. Less exposure to water-borne bacteria will lessen the risk of death from diarrheal diseases, especially in residents with compromised immune systems. Community members will spend less time hindered by illness and will have more time to devote to school and work. Additionally, this proposal will decrease the demand for firewood, which is traditionally used to boil and sanitize water, thereby protecting carbon-rich forests and reducing climate change. Firewood is often the highest monthly expense for a Rwandan family, but this proposal will allow those funds to be repurposed. Without the heavy burden of fuelwood costs, sparse economic resources can be redirected toward food, clothing, improved housing, medical care, and entrepreneurial development.


Community Organization:

Shyira is located in northwestern Rwanda approximately 15 miles south of Ruhengeri town in the Western Province. The community is located on a hilltop, with the highest point being Shyira Hospital. The water treatment system will be located within the hospital grounds for maintenance and security. Following ten years of maintenance and technical training by Manna, the water treatment system will be entrusted to the care of the community leaders.

Government Interaction:

Manna Energy Limited is working in direct cooperation with the government of Rwanda. The Rwanda Environmental Management Authority (REMA) is committed to improving the environmental conditions in Rwanda, including reducing deforestation and improving water quality. The Ministry of Education (MINEDUC) is committed to providing clean drinking water and improved sanitation to schools and communities in Rwanda. MEL’s activities in Rwanda are guided by a memorandum of understanding between these three organizations. Rwanda is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, and a participant in the Clean Development Mechanism, under which this project falls. Rwanda also has a national policy “Rwanda Vision 2020” of reducing deforestation and improving access to clean water, both of which this project serves to address.

Ancillary activities:

Other Issues:

By implementing this project, Manna Energy Limited expects to achieve the following impacts:
1. Reduction in deadly diarrheal diseases for Rwandans living with HIV/AIDS.
2. Clean drinking water for over 7900 people for ten years.
3. Carbon credits whose revenue can be used for maintenance of the water treatment system at no additional cost.
4. Employment of local laborers, trained local staff and community members, and technology transfer.
5. Poverty reduction through increased educational and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Rwandans living in communities adjacent to the water treatment facility are the primary beneficiaries of this project. They will have a free, reliable source of sanitary water that can be used for drinking, preparing food, and personal hygiene. The water treatment facilities will be built, installed, operated, and maintained primarily by trained Rwandan personnel. The quality of life will be improved with fewer deaths resulting from HIV/AIDS patients succumbing to diarrheal disease; less time spent suffering from diarrheal diseases and missing work or school; fewer incidences of respiratory illnesses attributable to cook fires; and economic savings from less firewood use. Indirectly, members of the global community will benefit from humanitarian participation in the carbon market and reduced emissions that would have worsened global warming and air pollution.

Maintenance Revenue:

A key element of this proposal is the integration of economic sustainability through the Clean Development Mechanism. Each liter of water that is treated with Manna Energy Limited’s water treatment system is a liter of water that no longer needs to be boiled with wood, and this directly translates to verifiable emission reductions. The generation and sale of CDM carbon credits from the treatment of drinking water that offsets the demand for water treatment by boiling with non-renewable wood fuel ensures that revenue is generated to operate and maintain the installed system. The sale of these carbon credits allows Manna Energy Limited to earn income for a period of ten years, which will pay for the continued operation and maintenance of the system during that time.

Maintenance Cost: $0


Prior art before metrics

Cost: $108,000

Materials: $45,000
Staff salary and travel: $45,000
Operating costs: $18,000

Co Funding Amount:

Community Contribution Amount:

Fund Requested: $100,000

Name Status Completion Date Final Cost
Water Treatment System for Shyira in_progress Dec 2011 68,500