The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) says lack of enough water supply in different parts of the country is partly as a result of new suburbs cropping up at a faster rate than what the utility body is able to satisfy. Issues of water scarcity have persisted for a while despite of the efforts to address the challenge, including establishing new treatment and distribution facilities and upgrading existing one like Nzove Water Treatment Plant. Unending complaints have only grown, with some claiming to go for weeks without water in their taps. In some city neighbourhoods, residents get water once or twice a week, and there are those in some areas which do not access it and resort to consuming untreated water from lakes and other water bodies. The shortage of safe water is also the case in Kigali City where clean water demand is relatively high given the growing needs of a rising population and increased activities such as factories and sanitation. It reached a level where WASAC could supply water to some communities by use of mobile tanks. According to WASAC acting CEO Gisele Umuhumuza, although there are continued efforts to supply more water to the public, new challenges keep coming up. “Each day, the city grows and new neighbourhoods come up. There are areas where people build before some basic infrastructures like water supply lines are laid. There are also places where we have pipelines but we don’t have enough water to supply in that area,” she said. Among other problems causing water scarcity, according to Umuhumuza, “there are also pipelines that are old and not able to pump much water to those in need of it. This is why we use water rationing to try and reach everyone based on our capacity.” Currently WASAC has 21 water treatment plants countrywide that produce 327,000 cubic meters per day. These are supplemented by 1,081 pumping points. “Figures from the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda, published two years ago, indicate that 72% of urban dwellers access water within a distance of 200 metres while in rural areas those that get water within a range of 500 meters stand at 56%,” said the acting CEO of WASAC. According to the figures, there is need for at least 145,000 cubic meters (m3) of water to meet the daily water demand for the Kigali City dwellers, but only 105,000 m3 are available. However, there is hope that the water supply problem will be eased with the additional Kanzenze water treatment plant (in Bugesera District) that is expected to add 40,000 m3 to the city’s water volume. Methode Rutagungira, in charge of urban water and sanitation at WASAC said that the current water production should be enough to supply the city well until 2024 but there is still a challenge of pipelines that haven’t reached all corners of the city. He pointed out places like Nduba around Butare, parts of Bweramvura, Jali, Kanyinya Gasogi and Masaka near Rusheshe that not only don’t have water but there are no pipelines laid to supply them. “We are currently constructing a big pipeline from the Nzove treatment plant that will supply those areas. The laying of the pipeline is expected to be complete by mid next year. We are aware of all water issues and working tirelessly to solve them. By 2024, we shall have water accessible everywhere at least within a range of 200 meters,” said Rutagungira. With regards to secondary cities of Musanze, Rubavu, Rusizi, Huye, Muhanga, and Nyagatare, Rutagungira said, “There pipelines that we have completed although water hasn’t reached everyone but we are hopeful that by 2024 distribution will be effective.” The Director of Rural Water Services, Vincent de Paul Mugwaneza said that in rural areas, government opted to use private operators who sign with the districts and WASAC come in to offer technical support on contract execution. So far we have 17 licensed private operators.