Kigali water crisis to end in September

KIGALI - The water deficit in Kigali city is set to be reduced by a big margin come next month, State Minister for Energy, Dr. Albert Butare, revealed yesterday. He said that 31,000 cubic metres will be added to the current daily production of 46,020 cubic metres.Butare told The New Times that after this addition the city’s daily consumption of 69,000 cubic metres, will leave a surplus of 8000 cubic metres per day.
TO THE RESCUE: Water treatment plant on River Nyabarongo.
TO THE RESCUE: Water treatment plant on River Nyabarongo.

KIGALI - The water deficit in Kigali city is set to be reduced by a big margin come next month, State Minister for Energy, Dr. Albert Butare, revealed yesterday. He said that 31,000 cubic metres will be added to the current daily production of 46,020 cubic metres.

Butare told The New Times that after this addition the city’s daily consumption of 69,000 cubic metres, will leave a surplus of 8000 cubic metres per day.

“This capacity will be supplied directly from the Nyabarongo project. Together with the current daily production of 46,020 cubic metres the project will not only close the gap but it will also give an excess supply of 8000 cubic metres per day,” Butare explained.

Elsewhere in the districts, the Minister also noted that the supply level has reached 60 percent and efforts are underway to increase further.

Citing rural areas, he highlighted that about 900,000 people in rural areas gained access to safe water between 2008-2009 over  1108 kilometers of surface coverage.

While the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) stipulate that access to safe water should have reached 85 percent of the world population by 2015; Rwanda is instead targeting to reach 87 percent with the aim of reaching 100 percent by 2020.

“This year the coverage is at 80 percent,” Butare added.
On the issue of affordability, he noted that there are some people in rural areas who charge exorbitantly for water, but promised that Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency and Rwanda Water and Sanitation Corporation will sort this out.

“We will soon establish a common tariff so that everyone can afford this water. If tariffs are high as a result of inputs like water treatment, then government will subsidize in a bid to lower the charges,” he emphasized.

The Kigali city’s water shortages had worsened in the past months with some areas going without the precious liquid for several days.

Rwanda Water and Sanitation Corporation attributes the shortage to the prolonged drought in the country that has reduced water levels.

The country started experiencing severe drought in June and is expected to continue until September.
Although the city has big reservoirs to store water, the quantity of water supplied dwindled so much forcing the Corporation to start water rationing.

“A lot is being done to solve this problem which has affected many parts of the city and we are optimistic it will be over within one month from now since the Nyabarongo project will be operational,” Yves Muyange, the acting Director General of Rwanda Water and Sanitation Corporation said.

He said that new pipes are being installed in the areas of; Remera, Nyarugenge, Kigali Business centre (KBC) and Kicukiro which are most hit by the water shortage.

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