Cutting the ribbon to inaugurate the public toilet (from left to right) representative of Ruliba Clays Ltd., Petrocom Ltd., Global Communities USAID Twiyubake Director of Program Management, Kayonza District Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs, Kabare Sector Civil Registrar.

Private Manufacturing Companies Donate Materials for Construction of Model Public Toilet in Rwanda

The outreach to the private sector and strong collaboration with local government and community enabled the USAID Twiyubake program to make construction of a public toilet possible. The success of this activity demonstrated the untapped potential of expanded collaboration, including engagement of the private sector, to maximize the impact of USAID-supported programs, particularly in resource-constrained contexts.

The Kabare sector inaugurated a newly constructed public toilet during the celebrations of International World Water Day on April 18, 2018, witnessed by representatives of the district, CHAIN partners, local manufacturing companies and the USAID Twiyubake team (Global Communities and Young Women's Christian Association of Rwanda).

The event featured a role-play by the USAID Twiyubake-supported “New Hope Youth Club” about water, hygiene and sanitation; a testimony from a beneficiary; and speeches from different stakeholders, encouraging Kabare sector residents to embrace positive WASH behaviors and recognizing the achievement of the joint public private partnership.

Kayonza in the Kabare sector is one of the districts most affected by poor hygiene and sanitation conditions.  According to the Rwanda Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2014-2015, 95.8 % of children under five in the Kayonza district do not use pit latrines as they are unsafe, not covered, and often do not have a roof. The unsafe disposal of children’s feces is a contaminant in household environments, posing a high risk of exposure to young infants. In addition, 42.5% of children under five are suffering from stunting and 11% from diarrhea. Only 33.5 % of households use a hand washing station with soap and water in Kayonza.

The six-door public toilet is intended to serve as model to encourage the construction and use of safe covered latrines and proper handwashing in households across the district. The construction is built upon the guidance set out in the Guideline of Latrine Technologies Usable in Rwanda (MININFRA 2011) provided by the WASH coordination office at the Ministry of Health.

To mobilize resource for the construction of the toilets, the USAID Twiyubake team initiated a broad outreach to local private manufacturing companies. Four private manufacturing companies – Ruliba Clay Ltd., Cimerwa Ltd., Petrocom Ltd., and Steelrwa Industries Ltd. -  responded positively to the call and donated various construction materials for the project, as a demonstration of their corporate social responsibility to local communities. Ruliba donated bricks worth Rwf 800,000 (US$940), Cimerwa donated 20 bags of cement valued Rwf 170,000 (US$200), Steelrwa Industries donated reinforcing steel bars worth Rwf 95,400 (US$112), and Petrocom provided iron sheets worth Rwf 91,500 (US$108).


Role play on WASH (water hygiene and sanitation) by USAID Twiyubake supported “New Hope Youth Club”.

The largest contribution to this projects was made by the Kabare sector and the local community, who availed Rwf 1 million (US$1,176), and free labor, respectively to complete the project. The district of Kayonza coordinated the activity, while the Kabare sector provided manpower and materials for the construction. YWCA staff contributed Rwf 120,000 for the doors.

Kayonza district authorities choose to build the public toilets next to the Kabare sector office in respect of the sector administration’s demonstrated efforts to promote WASH education and practices in the sector, and commitment to maintain the facility. In addition, the sector office is next to a very busy commercial center accessed by many people, making toilet facilities an absolute necessity. 

During the event, Diogene Zinarizina, Marketing Representative at Ruliba Clays Ltd., thanked the private companies for their trust to speak on their behalf. He expressed its commitment to continue this collaboration to respond to the development goals of the community as a toilet solves a lot of issues around hygiene and sanitation which has been showcased by the role play performed by the youth.

Vice Mayor in charge of Social Affairs Mr. Jean Damascene Harerimana explained to the community: “We should gratefully accept the value the private sector gave us through this donation, it is an opportunity for us to adapt our toilets at home as we now understand the importance of a model pit latrine.” He encouraged Kabare sector residents to change their behavior towards hygiene and sanitation and fight malnutrition through establishing a kitchen garden, planting a fruit tree and acquiring a small animal which are endeavors supported by the present non-governmental partner organizations.”