15 November 2017

Rwanda: 8-Year-Old Boy Recognised for Repairing Leaking Water Pipe

Photo: Frederic Byumvuhore/New Times
Rukundo’s parents were given a cheque of Rwf1 million to enable them to support their child’s studies.

Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) last week recognised an 8-year-old boy for being exemplary after repairing a leaking water pipe in Kicukiro District. Yasiri Rukundo is a P2 pupil at Rugarama Primary School in Nyamirambo Sector, Nyarugenge District. A month ago, Rukundo was pictured by a passenger while fixing a broken pipe with a rubber cord. The picture was circulated on social media and it caught WASAC staff attention. The water utility then decided to reward the boy's action with Rwf1 million and a brand new bicycle.

Rukundo was pictured trying to fix a broken pipe close to their home in Kigarama. He was taking his little sister to school when he discovered the broken water pipe.

Rukundo was recognised during a ceremony where WASAC launched a three-month non-revenue water awareness campaign last Friday. The campaign aims at sensitising the public about non-revenue water and their role in curbing non-revenue water everywhere.

At the launch, over 1,500 students from Rugarama Primary School, where Rukundo studies, were taught about non-revenue water and how they can play a role in reducing it partnering with their parents.

Eng. Aime Muzola, the chief executive of WASAC, appreciated Rukundo for taking a bold step to fix a broken pipe and his parents who have brought up their child patriotically. He encouraged Rukundo's peers to report any issues related to water infrastructures and stand as ambassadors in their communities by reporting any issue to WASAC.

Muzola also called on the public to protect every water infrastructure and report any issue that can interrupt the functioning of the pipes.

Some of activities to be conducted during the three-month campaign include encouraging the public to report any leakages, water theft, and any malpractice regarding meter reading and billing.

Reacting to the award, Rukundo said he was so happy, adding that he would encourage his peers to emulate him. Rukundo's father, Mukusini Rukundo advised other parents to teach their children about the role of such infrastructure at an early age.

He described his son as courageous at home as well as showing an outstanding performance at school where he always comes among the top five students.

"We are happy to receive this award for our child's outstanding work. Rwf1 million is a lot of money. The money will help us to support our child to continue his studies as well as starting small projects that can help us earn more money," Mukusini added.

According to WASAC, non-revenue water stands at 35 per cent, which consists of physical loss through leakages, overflow of reservoirs, apparent losses through water theft and errors in meter reading and billing.

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