Water Access Rwanda
Commonwealth Point of Light 189. Christelle Kwizera
Christelle Kwizera, representing Rwanda, aged 26, is a mechanical engineer who founded social enterprise ‘Water Access Rwanda’ in 2014 to address the issues of water scarcity and youth unemployment in the country.
Christelle launched the enterprise when she was only 20 years old to provide a safe and sustainable way for Rwandans living in rural communities to access water, without having to collect unclean water from rivers and dams where they can often face dangerous conditions such as crocodile attacks. Through its network of 95 boreholes and purified clean water grids, the enterprise now provides clean water to over 100,000 Rwandans a day, whilst at the same time providing key employment opportunities for young people.
Omar Daair, British High Commissioner Designate to Rwanda, said:
“It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Christelle Kwizera on winning the Commonwealth Points of Light award in Rwanda. Ms Kwizera is recognised by Her Majesty The Queen for her outstanding work to promote positive change. As founder of Water Access Rwanda, Ms Kwizera has helped provide access to water for thousands of Rwandans, and she has shown real commitment to building capacity of others in her community. Many congratulations.”
“It’s an extreme honour to be given this award; since last year, getting our work done has been more difficult but all the more urgent. The world is experiencing a sanitary crisis and unfortunately for many in rural areas, conducting activities such as handwashing and social distancing becomes an impossible task when they have no access to running water. At ‘Water Access Rwanda’, we envision a future where safe water access, which is a human right guaranteed to all, by building the necessary infrastructure to deliver this water at home. Home access matters, because convenient access to basic needs is a must. But most importantly, African women waste over 200 million hours a day walking for water, something we must end. Thank you Her Majesty Queen II and the Points of Light team for shining a light on our work. It is an encouragement to me as a founder, but most importantly to our growing 70 plus staff.”