NYAMAGABE — The district has earmarked Frw1.3 billion for the provision of clean water, Emmanuel Murangwa, the district vice Mayor in charge of economic affairs said yesterday.
Murangwa was briefing reporters on the district’s performance after the first quarter of 2008. Only about 160,000 of 311,888 residents have access to clean water.
According to Murangwa, the district will build eight water channels to increase access to safe water. The water channels that are currently under construction will cover a radius of 112 kms.
Once completed, the number of residents with access to clean water would increase from the current 59 per cent to 80 per cent (about 560,000) by the end of this year.
"The leadership should always think about providing people with basic necessities," Murangwa said. "Our aim is to enable all our residents have access to safer water at least by the end of the year 2010."
He said that the money to implement the water project is already available from the district Water and Infrastructure Fund known by its French acronym as (FEA).
Many rural residents in the district fetch dirty waters from swamps and some parents are afraid their children’s health is at stake. Some kids have developed diarrhea because of drinking contaminated water.
"My children are drinking dirty water and we are suffering from this situation," Vestine Mukankundiye a mother of five children said. She had gone to fetch water from a community tap in Murico village of Gasaka Sector. Residents in the area spend hours waiting for the tap to be opened at specific intervals.
They have to join long queues that form at the sole water tap in the area. Venuste Karinijabo, another resident, said they sometimes have to forego work to go for water.
"I think officials should really help us to access water," he said.
Residents believe the district has enough water sauces which if tapped could give many residents access to clean water.
"Nyamagabe has a lot of water, the only problem is how to harness it," said Marie Josée Kabatesi, a social worker with Hope and Homes for Children project in Nyamagabe.
She attributed diseases that affect children in the district to the consumption of contaminated water.