The Virunga Massif is divvied up among three countries, and there is a place in the Massif where Rwandan farmland abuts a Congolese park. On any given day, there is conflict.
Exactly three months before the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (more commonly referred to as Rio+20 because it will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil), the sixth World Water Forum (6th WWF or the Forum) took place last week in Marseille, France.
A woman enters the Virunga Massif with her baby tied on her back. She's looking for a few jerricans of water to do the washing, cooking, and provide drinking water for her family. With limited choices, she enters the park, in search of a forest stream. Thousands like her do the same, especially during the region's dry season in June, July and August.
Tuyambaze, center in dark blue, helps put up the frame of the water tank alongside Annonciata Akobahoranye of Imbere Heza, right. Tuyambaze and his younger sister are no longer in school, but tend the potato fields and manage the household they share with their grandmother.
Perusi Florence and her brother Tuyambaze will start the year 2012 with a burden relieved. They will no longer walk an hour to fetch water every morning. They will no longer have to pay 2,000 Uganda Shillings (the currency of choice in this area of DRC equivalent to about 75 US cents) per month to collect water. They will be able to step outside the home that they share with their grandmother and fill their jerricans with the rain that fell the day before.
The following post was written by AWF Program Design Officer for Europe Danny McGahey. Danny was part of an AWF delegation that attended the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 17th Conference of Parties (UNFCCC COP 17), in Durban, South Africa.