After a very short night (gone to bed around midnight, up at 6:00 am) and with a pinch of apprehension about how well the day will go (e.g., getting the team together, meeting the various local officials to guide us at the selected water points, sampling conditions, testing methods, etc.), Guy and I headed two water quality teams, each with a driver, student, and local official in a 4x4.
The first sector (out of 4 for this 2-week assignment) was located in Masaka, and as soon as you leave the outskirt of Kigali (the capital of Rwanda) any road branching off the principal road going East becomes a red-dirt road meandering through banana plantations. The going was slow (usually no more than 15 mph) that day between the four target community water points. We returned back to the office early in the afternoon to enter the data and start the microbiological analyses.
Some of the sites were piped (under pressure) community water taps, but one was also the river down in the valley (very turbid, and definitely E. Coli positive: 16 cfu/mL !). Below are a couple pictures of the river (Nyabarongo) and of a typical community water tap.