KIGALI - The government and the European Union (EU) have signed a four-year deal, worth Frw 5.5bn, to finance the water project for Southern Province. Finance Minister James Musoni and the EU envoy to Rwanda David MacRae signed the agreement yesterday at Ministry of Finance headquarters. The EU under the auspices of the governments of Austria and Belgium will contribute Frw5.5bn to the two water projects, estimated to cost Frw 12.2 billion. While the government of Rwanda will provide the remaining funds for the project aimed to benefit 400, 000 residents in the districts of Nyamagabe, Gisagara, Huye and Nyaruguru.
The project will also include the construction of sanitation facilities for about 84, 000 people and capacity building aspects aimed to strengthen regional and local stakeholders. “This is a good beginning of the year with the signing of funding deal meant for provision of sustainable potable water supply and sanitation,” Musoni said.
The State Minister in charge of Water and Mines Prof. Munyanganizi Bikoro said that the project is going to supplement on the government efforts of extending clear water to at least 80 per cent of Rwandan society in 2010.
The EU envoy, MacRae, said that it is the first time for Rwanda to benefit from their global water facility funding, which focus on three key society elements of ownership, sustainability and innovation.
“Much needs to be done to improve water supply and sanitation as water born diseases are a major cause of sickness” MacRae said, adding the EU is committed on that.
The new water project is expected to improve on Rwanda’s current 64 percent of citizens currently accessing clean water in 200 metres in urban and 500 metres in rural areas.