Prison programmes in Rwanda with the ICRC

Good hygiene: a condition of life

The Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) supervises and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) monitors water, hygiene and sanitation for some 53,950 prisoners in 15 prisons.

The country’s average prison population is 3596; the average number of prisoners affected by water-borne diseases is estimated at 20 cases per month of simple diarrhoea, 2 cases of bloody diarrhoea, 1 case of typhoid and 6 cases of urine-vaginal infections per prison. The women’s prisons in Ngoma and Nyamagabe have higher reported numbers of particular urinary and vaginal infections. These indicators demonstrate the significant efforts made by RCS and its partners, including the ICRC, to reduce water-borne diseases in prisons.

Our WATA technology has found success with the ICRC worldwide. Since 2015, MajiMaisha-Antenna (MMA) has been supporting the ICRC in Rwanda in its programme to implement the local production of liquid chlorine for disinfection in prisons.

PRISON programme

  • Technical support and capacity building aimed at Rwanda Correctional Service staff and inmates to produce liquid chlorine for prison disinfection using WATA technology.
  • Implementation of a strategic plan for a sustainable (2016-2020) WATA approach in Rwanda.

In correctional institutions and prisons, prisoners have certain inalienable rights, including the right to life. Exposure to water-borne diseases makes the prison of Munzenze – in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), a city in the east of the country on the border with Rwanda – unliveable. At the moment, some human rights activists are even going so far as to claim that prison officials are monetising prison cells. And yet, for MMA in DRC, it is these officials who have promoted sanitation and hygiene through the production and use of liquid chlorine in order to make living conditions in Munzenze acceptable.

The collaboration between MMA (and its partners) and the Munzenze prison to facilitate the success of the planned actions will help to protect more than 1000 people present in the prison. Women and child prisoners may well be the most vulnerable in such circumstances.

The expertise of Antenna and the ICRC in Rwanda will serve as a model for MMA in the DRC thanks to the partnership with the ICRC.


The level of respect for hygiene conditions by using WATA in Rwandan prisons using liquid chlorine and the satisfaction of the ICRC are acquired; a sustainable tripartite collaboration framework between MMA, ICRC and RCS has been signed.

Number of beneficiaries

  • Prison Programme some 53,945 people


By 2020, MajiMaisha-Antenna / DRC will have contributed to the fight against water-borne diseases by reducing infections and contagions due to lack of hygiene in prisons in Rwanda.


  • ICRC


  • Project duration: 2014-2020


Antenna – Geneva

Pierre-Gilles Duvernay (Technical Adviser Water & Hygiene Unit)

Local contact

Guillain Kulimushi (Coordinator and Focal Point, Antenna Technologies in DRC)