When I first landed in Kigali, Africa I expected the landscape to be like the Sahara desert. Miles of parched earth and no vegetation. Instead what I saw was a beautiful country with rolling hills and lush jungles.
There’s no shortage of water in Rwanda. In fact there’s plenty of water. The difficulty is in getting it.
If you live outside of the big city in the villages, you likely won’t have any running water. No warm showers in the morning, or cool baths at night. You will likely have a stack of jerry cans that you will need to fill at the local water hole or swamp. The negative to this is that often times the water hole is stagnant, and can carry all kinds of diseases like malaria. Sometimes the animals also use the same watering holes which leads to e-coli contamination.
In Kageyo, there was a small lake where people would get water. During the rainy season it would fill up, and would provide water to the village all year long. A round trip to the lake and back was usually over 2 hours. Kids would take jerry cans, and would balance up to 10 of them on bikes, push them back up the hill to their homes.
Because the Keyhole Gardens require much less water than typical in-ground beds, it makes them a great garden solution.
There are organizations that help in bringing water wells to African communities. It is a noble cause, and it doesn’t require much to donate to it. Please visit The Water Project to help out.
By the way, this beautiful photograph was taken by our friend Esther Havens who journeyed with us on the Keyhole Garden trip.