My name is Mutangana Placide, I’m 31 years old and I’m a father of one. I’m a water and environmental engineer by profession. Before joining Rwanda Red Cross in 2017, I have been working in the engineering department for different local private companies and local NGOs mostly for the development and implementation of water and sanitation projects, especially in rural communities. My role was mainly designing and follow-up the implementation works.  In Rwanda Red Cross, I’m the WASH program coordinator at HQ; my main role is the coordination and organizing of the implementation of the WASH components across the National Society community resilience programs and empowerment of Red Cross volunteers in WASH. I also support the PMER department for proposal writing. The Skybird Programme is also channeled in the WASH programs and focal points for this program.

Our skybird micro-project is located in the western province of Rwanda in Nyamasheke district with the goal to integrate food security and WASH in schools. It aims at providing inclusive appropriate sanitation and menstrual management at schools at the same time transforming the human excreta (urine) into fertilizers for agriculture. It also aims at improving best hygiene practices within the school as well as the host communities.

My most favorite moment during the implementation of the Skybird micro-project is to see the changes in terms of the open defecation that occurred throughout the project cycle. At the beginning of the project you could find/identify a lot of open defecation within the community of Cyimpindu, but following the training sessions and mobilization campaigns on the use of latrines and handwashing the number of open defecations have reduced considerably. As an engineer who always believed in hard structures, I was impressed how powerful the soft component of this micro-project has a big impact within this society even more than just installing structures.