FEATURED: Water demand in Kigali to increase fivefold by 2050, report

WASAC CEO Aimé Muzola says a comprehensive master plan will improve the efficiency of existing water supply facilities. Courtesy

The water demand in the City of Kigali is projected to reach five times the current capacity by 2050, by 2035 as projected in the recently unveiled interim report of the Master Scenario.

The report marks the first phase of the Water Supply Master Plan for the City of Kigalia joint project by the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).


The project is being developed to facilitate long-term water supply in the City of Kigali and its seven adjacent sectors namely Shyorongi in Rulindo District, Runda and Rugalika in Kamonyi, Muyumbu, Nyakaliro and Gahengeri in Rwamagana, Ntarama in Bugesera.


According to the report, the daily maximum of water demand is expected to increase to over one million cubic meters per day by 2050 from a possible daily average water demand of  335 000 cubic meters per day by 2035.


The projected increase in water demand is subject to the fact that the population of the City of Kigali could increase from 1.13 million in 2012 to 4.3 million in 2040.

The government of Rwanda has made commitments to ensure universal water coverage for its population by 2024 in line with the National Strategy for Transformation and Sustainable Development Goals and the progress made so far indicates that the target is promising.

However, the first phase of the study on the water master plan for the City of Kigali aims at developing the Master Plan Scenario as a way of dealing with challenges of climate change and growing population which continue to put pressure on water demand.

To meet the rapid increase of water demand in the City of Kigali, WASAC CEO, Aime Muzola said the water utility seeks to develop one comprehensive master plan so as to improve the efficiency of existing water supply facilities and new facilities.

He said the Master Scenario of Kigali Water Master Plan will help them to conduct a feasibility study on priority projects identified in the city water master plan as well as to pursue technology transfer to the counterpart personnel in the course of the study.

“This master plan is very important to plan for water supply in the city of Kigali and its surrounding areas. We have many projects in place to end issues of water shortage in the city of Kigali which we hope will dramatically bring change and improved water supply in the City of Kigali,” Muzola said.

Muzola said the Master Scenario, which was done in March last year, shows financial and organizational issues, water resources development plan, results of socio-economic survey and the progress of strategic environmental assessment.

“The first phase was all about Master Plan scenarios while the next phase will help us design the Master Plan investment to see, for instance, how much the City of Kigali will need to spend on water supply,” he said.

Various alternatives such as future water resources, water treatment methods, water transmission system with reservoirs, distribution system for adequate pressure control and organizational improvement were all considered during the study to establish a sustainable water supply system.

The financial analysis and strategic Environmental Assessment are also being conducted and, if finalized, Kigali’s Water Master Plan will be combined to the National Water Master Plan which is under preparation with the assistance of African Development Bank (AfDB).

JICA, who are the project implementers, had entrusted its Japanese consultant firms to conduct the Master Plan study after the former provided financial support and some technical inputs.

JICA Rwanda Office Chief Representative, Shin Maruo, speaks to journalists recently. / Courtesy

Maruo Shin, the JICA Rwanda Office Chief Representative, is confident Kigali’s water demand could be met as long as the water Master Plan is successfully implemented.

“The important thing is what will happen after the completion of the Master Plan, specifically its implementation which may be challenged by financial and technical aspects. However, we have that experience, not necessarily in Rwanda, but in other countries. We have many water sector projects and that experience and knowledge are important to this master plan study,” he said.

As the Master Scenario of Kigali City’s Water Master Plan gets closer to completion, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) will next month (March) start the Preparation of Master Plan and Feasibility Study on selected priority projects.


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