Within the framework of the Flemish Partnership Water for Development, De Watergroep is joining forces with the Join For Water NGO and the Flemish government in a project to improve the supply of drinking water in the Congolese province of Ituri. 

  • Between 2015 and 2018, we worked to support drinking water committees, restored existing water networks, and built a drinking water system in Ngongo and 3 water pipes in Mahagi. 
  • At the beginning of 2020, the collaboration was renewed and we are working on a new gravitational drinking water system for 25,100 people in Ngote, as well as raising awareness about hygiene and sanitation 

35 years of experience in Congo

For over 35 years, the Join For Water NGO has been working with its Congolese partner CIDRI on the development of drinking water and sanitation facilities in Ituri Province in eastern Congo. It will cover the construction of 13 drinking water systems that supply half a million people. That’s still only 1 in 9 people in Ituri. The management is in the hands of drinking water committees composed of members of the population. With the help of CIDRI, they manage to keep the infrastructure running, but there is still room for improvement.

In Congo, a large number of state institutions are theoretically involved in water management. A new water law was adopted in 2015, providing a legal framework for the reform of the water sector. Water management was a state monopoly before 2014. The new law also allows for management by the local community.

In 2018, a second-line structure was set up and legally recognised, the Structure d’Appui àla Gestion de l’Eau (SAGE), which will provide technical and management support to the member management committee. SAGE represents the management committee and promotes the interests of water users.

Waiting at the water taps

Lange wachtrijen aan de publieke watertappunten in Bunia, de hoofdstrad van Ituri © Nick HannesThe drinking water systems that were built approximately 20 years ago have become far too small in the meantime due to the increased population. This results in long queues for the public water taps that only open in the morning and evening. With these projects, we want to give more inhabitants access to drinking water by developing the drinking water sector in Congo in an efficient, equitable, and sustainable way. And that’s where the knowledge and expertise of De Watergroep comes in handy. In addition to financial resources, De Watergroep also offers technical support.

Parties involved

  • Local implementing partner CIDRI (Centre d’Initition au Développement Rural en Ituri)
  • Join For Water
  • De Watergroep
  • Flemish Government 
  • Flemish Partnership Water for Development

1 December 2015 to 31 March 2018

  • For whom?
    • 13 drinking water committees in Ituri
    • 58,000 new water users
    • 500,000 existing water users (by improving the operation of the water service)
  • What?
    • Support for drinking water committees through the establishment of an umbrella support structure
    • Repairs to existing water networks
    • Construction of drinking water system in Ngongo and 3 water pipes in Mahagi
  • Project cost: EUR 696,000

Renewed project: 1 January 2020 – 31 December 2021

  • For whom?
    • 25,100 new water users
    • 615,000 existing water users (through improvement of existing water systems)
  • What?
    • Construction of a new gravitational drinking water system in Ngote
    • Work to improve hygiene and sanitation in 150 families in 4 villages 
    • Repairs to existing water networks
    • Construction of 6 blocks of 4 latrines each and raising awareness among pupils through the hygiene committees in 3 schools
    • Carry out a study in the vicinity of Bunia (Lonyo) for the construction of a large-scale new system (eventually 90,000 users)
    • Introduction of new source protection measures (e.g. reforestation, with cooperation of BOS+ Tropics)
  • Project cost: EUR 499,994
 Logo Join For Water   Logo VPWVO