Isuku Iwacu



A USAID project with SNV contributions to decrease childhood stunting by increasing Rwandans' access to improved household sanitation by 500,000 and eradicating open defecation practice in 137 villages of target districts.

To improve household sanitation in Rwanda, SNV is implementing USAID’s Isuku Iwacu project from 2016 to 2020. The project aims to help 500,000 Rwandans gain access to improved household sanitation, and will work to ensure that about 137 villages of target districts live in open-defecation free environments, with the overall goal of decreasing childhood stunting.

Isuku Iwacu acts as a market facilitator by: 1) increasing demand for sanitation products and services among households and communities, 2) strengthening the supply of sanitation products and services available from the private sector and helping households gain sustainable access to these products, and 3) developing an improved enabling environment to support this new market for improved sanitation. Isuku Iwacu is also working directly with local governments and households to support village residents to achieve open-defecation free (ODF) environments.

The project is operating in eight target districts: Kayonza, Kicukiro, Ngoma, Nyabihu, Nyanza, Nyarugenge, Ruhango, and Rwamagana, and is adapted to each district’s unique ecological and water supply conditions, rural and urban settlement patterns, and environmental risks.

The sanitation challenges in these districts are significant: nearly 45% of latrines are unimproved, 24% of these are shared by multiple households, and hand washing is rarely practiced. Households lacking improved sanitation, safe water, and hygienic practices experience a high frequency of preventable illnesses, with children being especially vulnerable to malnutrition and stunting.

In the face of these challenges, Isuku Iwacu is using SNV’s Sustainable Sanitation and Hygiene for All (SSH4A) approach to help households within the target districts fully understand why proper sanitation is essential to health and wellbeing, and to gain access to market-based, improved latrines and hand-washing stations that are reliable, affordable, and well-designed.

The Consortium implementing Isuku Iwacu is led by SNV in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, and also includes international NGOs World Vision and Water for People, as well as several private sector partners, Rwandan NGOs, and Rwandan capacity building organisations.

people sanitation centre

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