Preliminary Report on HSBC Bank Middle East Limited Funded

Waterbag Filtration Project For Urukundo and Kigali in Rwanda

Background information

Waterbag Filtration Project

According to a recent multi-country review by the World Health Organization from 54 low- and middle-income countries, 38 percent of health care facilities lack access to even rudimentary levels of water, 19 percent lack sanitation and 35 percent do not have water and soap for hand washing. The situation significantly worsens when looking for a higher standard of WASH coverage. Rural health care facilities are much worse off compared to districts and referral hospitals.

Specifically access to clean water is a challenge in many parts of Rwanda, and children are the ones who suffer most.

To reduce child mortality and to improve child well-being, Operation Give and Grow (OGG) partnered with DayOne Response and HSBC Bank Middle East Limited to provide Waterbags and purification packets that turns undrinkable/dirty water into safe drinking water. OGG prepositioned and deployed 252 DayOne WaterBags into communities for use in WASH initiatives and specifically to provide clean drinking water. This deployment was carried to improve existing practices in WASH as well as be integrated into additional OGG emergency deployments and areas with WASH challenges in the region.

Description of Assessment and Project

A needs assessment was carried out by OGG in specific areas of Rwanda and it became apparent that many disadvantaged families and children’s homes had challenges in getting safe drinking water because most water sources (especially shallow wells) and rivers had contaminated water. In October 2017, OGG entered into a partnership with DayOne Response to participate in a deployment of DayOne WaterBags funded by HSBC Bank Middle East Limited. OGG identified Urukundo and Suburbs of Kigali Rwanda were the areas most in need of WASH interventions.

Map of Rwanda

Rwanda Map shows Kigali in yellow

Equipment – DayOne Waterbag

The DayOne Waterbag, using the Procter & Gamble (P&G) Purifier of Water treatment packets, is an innovation designed to provide safe drinking water immediately following a disaster. The DayOne Waterbag delivers all four elements of a municipal water system: collection, transport, treatment, and protected storage. It is a 10-liter water backpack designed for use with P&G packets that are already distributed worldwide. The DayOne Watebags come with universal pictographic instructions that enable untrained individuals to convert muddy water into safe drinking water. As a backpack, it greatly decreases fatigue in hauling water long distances, and, inside the sealed bag, treated water is protected from recontamination. The DayOne Waterbag is primarily intended to bridge the gap between a disaster and the resurgence of traditional purification methods. It is intended for emergency use, such as after a flood or hurricane event.

Through the HSBC’s sponsorship, DayOne Response provided the 252 DayOne Waterbags to OGG and each product included:

DayOne Waterbag and attached filter, an initial 60 P&G Purifier of Water sachets (to treat a minimum of 600-liters of water), pictograph instructions to support training and packet cutter to open the P&G packets An additional 240 P&G Purifier of Water sachets are being supplied throughout the year to extend of use of the product. This enables families to have access to clean drinking water throughout the entire year via the DayOne Waterbag and sachet resupply.

Photo of the DayOne Waterbag


In October 2017 OGG carried out an orientation and basic training on the use of the DayOne Waterbag as part of the HSBC funding at the “children of God” children’s Home and Urukundo foundation Children’s home the orientation was provided to the Municipal representatives, Officials and community volunteers. The focus of the training was to ensure that the teams could demonstrate the use of the DayOne Waterbags to the wider community in emergencies but more so in areas challenged by lack of clean drinking water. As part of action points from the training, each home prepared a deployment plan for the DayOne Waterbags.

WaterDay Bag

Photo of school children learning

Volunteers were selected from each home to participate in an evaluation for the use of the DayOne Waterbag. The volunteers were expected to provide feedback regarding the usability of the DayOne Waterbags at household level. 252 DayOne Waterbags were distributed to the Children’s homes which accommodated over 1,000 individuals including local families, children and parents/guardians to those children at the homes. The new community volunteers were tasked with using the DayOne Waterbags in their households for day to day purposes.

OGG Approach

Described below is the distribution plan OGG utilized in the WASH program.

  1.  OGG identified four distribution centers all of which are children’s homes, three in Kigali and one in Urukundo namely The Urukundo Foundation.
  2. The deserving families within the locality assembled at the Children’s homes for
    training and distribution.
  3. A record of all beneficiaries was kept for the purpose of follow-up and for
    quarterly distribution of the P&G Sachets as indicated in no.4 below.
  4. The P&G sachets will continue to be distributed quarterly to enable prudent usage by each family or institution.
  5. OGG representatives in Rwanda are managing the quarterly distribution of the P&G
    Sachets on the ground and will continue to provide periodic reports on how the beneficiaries are utilizing the Waterbags.

Main Observations

The two areas where OGG distributed the Waterbags, the Kigali suburbs and the Urukundo foundation had the following feedback.

  1. Within the suburb of Kigali the villagers who attended the demo and were interviewed described the lack of safe drinking water. For many of the villagers the only key source of the drinking water was a highly contaminated river where they drew their demo sample from. Indeed, many of the school children and their parents shared that they had developed stomach problems due to the challenges of the water and some contaminated wells.
  2. OGG personally interviewed one of the educators in a children’s home and they communicated that this Waterbag project was very timely and a God send for them to be able to obtain clean domestic water from the river (which is actually next to the Children’s home) since it is one of the greatest needs at the school. Besides this they have had to put up with taking water from a well within the compound, in which the water is very saline.
  3. When OGG collected the water from the river and conducted the Waterbag purification process those who tasted the water immediately commented that the water was much sweeter and softer. This was a most remarkable transformation before their very eyes. The village coordinator and Educator took time to immediately plan how they could effectively spread the word to many area dwellers who have settled on consuming the water from the river without purifying and filtering it now that they now had an alternative. They felt that the DayOne Waterbag was an eye opener and a true blessing.

    Louisa an Educator in charge of a children’s home which houses over 150 children and also one of the recipients of the Watebags had this to say about the project:

    “Thank you for the Waterbags that you have donated to us and the community. We are sure that your deeds are a good example even to our benefactors. By helping you not only give prosperity but also joy and hope. Your help is a priceless contribution to charity and undoubtedly appreciable support to the disadvantaged and the needy. Thank you for your care, compassion and mercy, and for the contribution you have made to transform our society. God Bless You.”

  4. At Urukundo, the Village coordinator and the children’s home received the DayOne Waterbags with much appreciation and great expectation. The demonstration amazed many of those present as the initial untreated water was highly discolored prior to start of the treatment and the end result was pure, clean and safe drinking water.

Hygiene and Behavior Change

OGG utilized behavior change framework tools to move people from knowledge to practice. These tools helped identify critical barriers and enabling factors to behavior change and helped develop a practical plan to move a priority group toward sustained practice of a desired WASH-related behavior such as repeated use of the DayOne Waterbag. In Rwanda the primary target was children’s homes which educated the children on the importance of hygiene and behavior change. Following the OGG and DayOne Response program the children have become passionate advocates of the need for clean drinking water and a strong influence on their parents too.

Social Inclusion

Under the WASH program, social inclusion empowered people to take advantage of the Waterbags. OGG particularly focused the program on children including those with disability and gender inclusion.

Many of the families affected by challenges of clean drinking water were largely drawn from economically disadvantaged homes or households hence the need for OGG to place special focus on them during the program.

Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Education

OGG program in children’s homes and primary schools included training community resource people from schools and local institutions who spearheaded school sanitation and hygiene programs. This work helped to improve access to safe drinking water, sanitation and hygiene in schools and help reduced diarrhea and respiratory diseases among schoolchildren. These students also helped as agents of change to reinforce good hygiene and sanitation behaviors at home. Through key local educators OGG’s program empowered both teachers and students to promote important hygiene behaviors.


On behalf of the communities of Urukundo and Kigali in Rwanda OGG would like to thank HSBC for supporting to Fund this program.

From the feedback received on the ground in Rwanda after the distribution of the 252 watebags we have only touched far less than 1% of the families that require this intervention in the country. Hence, there is a great need to fund similar projects particularly in Eastern Rwanda and beyond to effectively reach out to deserving families across the country.

At OGG, our target is to reach at least 200,000 people cumulatively within the East African Region. We therefore require a minimum of 50,000 Waterbags and a one year supply of P&G Purifier of Water packets. This will help support at least 50,000 families across the East African Region. Rwanda, Kenya , Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi are among the areas of focus. Through our collaboration with DayOne Response Inc. and through funding support from HSBC we can reach the above target and ultimately make a significant and memorable impact on health and well-being of thousands of children and families.


Photos of the Waterbag distribution and use in Urukundo and Kigali.

Waterbag Filtration Project

Children wait curiously on the opposite side for the 30 minutes administering and shaking the P&G sachet into the contaminated water.

Opening the P&G Purification of Water Packet.

Emptying the P&G Purification Packet into the Waterbag.

Demonstration of the Waterbag to school children.

The school children were very curious to learn.

WaterDay Bag Filtration

Distribution of the Waterbags

Hanging the Waterbag with the hooks.

The school children were very curious to learn.

Demonstrating how to clean the Waterbag.

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