The Ministry of Infrastructure has announced an investment outlay of $440 million for the next three years to build water treatment plants and supply systems in urban and rural areas as it accelerates efforts to ensure that all Rwandan have access to clean water by 2024.
Patricie Uwase, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, made the disclosure on Monday during a press conference organised by officials from Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA) and the Ministry to dispel fears of possible hike in water tariffs.
The government has earmarked funds to build more water treatment plants following an upgrade on Nzove plant and the ongoing construction of Kanzenze plant that will provide some 40,000 cubic metres to Kigali city and Bugesera District.
“Since 2016 under the new water and sanitation policy we have been increasing investments. For instance, we are investing $440 million in the next three years starting the next fiscal year. $282 million will be invested in water infrastructures in urban areas and $139 million to be invested in water infrastructures in rural areas,” she said.
Patrick Nyirishema, the Director-General of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority speaks during the press conference on new water tariff as Aimé Muzola, CEO of WASAC looks on yesterday at RURA headquarters. Nadege Imbabazi
She said that by 2022 all water treatment plants will have been completed.
Aimé Muzola, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) , aid the water treatment plants will be constructed in two phases.
“There are about new eight plants to be constructed. The first phase includes Gihira water treatment plant to be completed by June next year. Other plants will be built under the second phase as we are (still) conducting studies. The last water treatment plant will have been completed by 2022,” he said.
Among the water treatment plants that are expected to increase supply to rural areas include the one at Ngoma River in Nyagatare and another at Lake Muhazi to supply water in Gatsibo and Kayonza districts.
Officials said that the plant at Lake Sake will also be constructed to supply water to parts of Ngoma District while other plants will be built in Karongi District, Mugaga area to supply water to Muhanga town, Busogwe area to supply water to different parts of the southern province and the plant in Rusizi District.
They are all projected to supply a combined 61,500 cubic metres of water in rural Rwanda.
He said that establishing water treatment plants will be implemented alongside new water supply systems and rehabilitating old ones.
Similar projects are being implemented in secondary cities such as Musanze, Rubavu, Rusizi, Muhanga, Huye and Nyagatare.
Explaining water tariffs
According to Patrick Nyirishema, the Director General of RURA, Rwandans should use water efficiently in order to control the bills they pay.
He said residents pay only 26.2 per cent of the actual cost of water supply in their homes as the government covers 73.8 per cent through subsidized investments.
The current water tariffs were set on February 1, 2019.
Nyirishema explained that the clients are grouped in three categories.
The 1st category comprises of people who use not less than 5,000 litres (250 jelly cans) per month or eight jerrycans per day. This category pays Rwf340 per 1,000 litres or Rwf6.8 per one jerrycan.
The second category is composed of those who use over 5,000 litres but not more than 20,000 litres per month. This category pays Rwf720 per 1,000 litres, meaning Rwf14.4 per one 20-litre jerrycan.
The third category includes those using 20,000 litres and not more than 50,000 litres per month which is between 33 and 83 litres per day. This category pays Rwf845 per 1,000 litres which is Rwf16.9 per one jerrycan.