An estimated 7.57 million (75.7%) of the estimated 10 million Rwanda’s people have access to safe water supply and 5.8 million (58%) had access to hygienic sanitation.

An estimated 7.57 million (75.7%) of the estimated 10 million Rwanda’s people have access to safe water supply and 5.8 million (58%) had access to hygienic sanitation.

Depending on an estimated population increase of 11.3 million people in 2015, to achieve the MDG target 2.2 million additional Rwandan people would need to have access to water supply and 4 million additional people would also need access to hygienic sanitation.

The WSS has set targets to achieve as follows; access to drinking water starting from 44% in 2005 to 85% by 2015; access to adequate sanitation services from 38% in 2005 to 65% in 2015. The challenge for WSS is the fast growth of urban centres, especially Kigali.

In March 2010, the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) has finalised with cabinet approval the updated Policy on Water Supply and Sanitation Services and Strategy with the objective of having a more output based policy framework for the accelerated development and the sound management of water supply and sanitation services, in line with the EDPRS, MDGs and Rwanda’s Vision 2020.


The overall objective of water and sanitation services is to ensure sustainable and affordable access to safe water supply, sanitation and waste management services for all Rwandans, as a contribution to poverty reduction, public health, economic development and environmental protection.



Each person and community has equal right to access basic water services. Priority will be given to “some for all” rather than “all for some”, until the Vision 2020 goal of access to safe drinking water and sanitation for all is reached. Due attention will be given to affordability considerations.

The target is to raise rural water supply coverage to 85% by 2012 and to 100% by 2020 by assisting the Districts to plan, design, finance and implement infrastructure projects


 The responsibility for service delivery is vested at the decentralized level. The water and sanitation sector is committed to building and strengthening decentralized planning, implementation and management capacities.


The beneficiaries of water supply and sanitation services shall be actively involved in planning, decision making and oversight throughout the project implementation cycle. In particular, they will choose the service level that responds to their needs and capacities.

Operation and maintenance costs of water supply and sanitation infrastructure shall be born by the users, in order to ensure sustainable service delivery. Affordability shall be addressed by the choice of appropriate technologies and by enhancing efficiency, not usually by granting subsidies. The polluter-pays and user-pays principles are to be applied in sewerage and waste management.


The sector will continue to promote delegated management through private operators, which is the key strategy to enhance the sustainability of rural water infrastructure. The private sector will also be encouraged and supported in developing capacities for investment, construction and service delivery in water supply, sanitation and solid waste management.


 are seen as priorities in both urban and rural infrastructure development and management, in order to improve financial viability, minimize fiduciary risk (checks and balances) and optimise the use of the available resources.


 The crucial roles and the particular interests of women and children are fully acknowledged.  All sector activities shall be designed and implemented in a way to ensure equal participation and representation of men and women, and to pay due attention to the viewpoints, needs and priorities of women.


The water and sanitation sector gives preferential consideration to service delivery in grouped settlements, taking into account the changing habitat structure.


 Water supply and sanitation services will be developed in close coordination with water resources management, based on an integrated approach. Water use should be rational and sustainable and shall abide with environmental regulations and safeguards. Waste disposal shall be planned and managed with a view to minimize environmental impact and ensure the protection of water resources.


 The water and sanitation sector aims to develop a consistent, national approach, to harmonize financing and implementation modalities and to optimize stakeholder coordination. The Sector-Wide Approach (SWAP) as well as the sector’s capacity building efforts will consider all sector stakeholders, including NGOs and the private sector. National structures and capacities will be developed to replace project implementation units in the short to medium term.


The sector recognizes the critical importance of sanitation and hygiene behaviour change for the achievement of sustainable health benefits. Sanitation and hygiene activities and projects shall be developed through strategic cooperation with the health and education sectors. Any water supply projects shall systematically consider sanitation implications and hygiene education requirements.


Monitoring and evaluation systems will be developed in conjunction with planning and budgeting procedures, involving decentralised actors (in particular the districts), in order to ensure that the activities and investments are in line with the defined sector objectives and priorities.


Draft policy discussed with all stakeholders at national level through workshops and submits to cabinet for approval by December 2009.

The new National Policy for Water Supply and Sanitation Services document is the result of a comprehensive discussion and stakeholder consultation process led by a dedicated Tasks Force created to this end.

On the basis of an initial “Orientation Note” a first outline of the policy (Green Paper) had been submitted for discussion at a two-day sector retreat in September 2009.

The following national institutions were consulted in September 2009. MINECOFIN, MoH, MINELA, MINEDUC, MINALOC, MINALOC, MVK, Regulatory and authorities; RURA, REMA, RBS and RWASCO.

District were consulted in December through two provincial validation workshops held on 8th and 11th in Karongi ( South and Western provinces) and Gicumbi ( Kigali, Northern and Eastern Provinces) respectively.

The updated National Policy on Water Supply and Sanitation Services which encompasses policy strategies was forwarded to the RESC, and then the Cabinet and was endorsed tin the beginning of March 2010.

Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan

Hire consultants to prepare District Master Plans by February 2010.   

The consultant to carryout Nyamasheke Water Supply and Sanitation Master Plan have been hired

The process of hiring consultants to carry out District Water Supply Master Plans for Muhanga, Ruhango and Nyanza was delayed because effectiveness of the grant took longer than expected. The hiring will be completed by end of September 2010.

Draft Law on Rwanda Energy and Water Development Board and submit it to Cabinet and parliament for approval. 

The law establishing Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority was passed by both lower and upper houses of representatives (Parliament and Senate).

The Senate instructed that the Authority should be operational not letter than end of the year 2010.

Training and operationalization of MIS. Produce the first report of MIS (in June 2010)
 The MIS training was conducted by the consultants with four engineers and one system administrator trained. However it was noted that further training is required for the MIS to be fully operational.

An agreement was made between MININFRA and Egyptian consultants to come back to Rwanda to conduct further training free of consultancy charges with MININFRA paying for consultant’s transport, accommodation and transport while in Rwanda only. This additional training is planned for June 2010.

Construct 310 km of new Water system and 220 protected Water springs   and 331,1km rehabilitated systems.

A total of 193km of new rural water supply system have been constructed by end of March 2010, with 250 spring sources protected, while 135km of water system have been rehabilitated.

From implemented projects, 166, 600 new beneficiaries have accessed potable drinking water between July 2009 to end of March 2010. This number of new beneficiaries equals 1.7% of estimated 10 million Rwandans people who accessed potable water.

In urban areas, 18km was constructed under AEP Nyabarongo project, aimed at supplying water to the city of Kigali. A total of 62km have been rehabilitated in different parts of Kigali city.

This has helped in accommodating additional 15,00m3/day produced by the same project. This volume of water is enough to supply adequately additional 187,500 people in Kigali.

Construction of 9043 ECOSAN latrines in Public places. 9175 ECOSAN latrines constructed in schools and they are at the level 45%. These are expected to be completed before the end of this fiscal year.

The increased number compared to planned results from the implementation of established Nine Years Primary Education Programme in Rwanda

Put in place PHAST and HAMS Committees where they don’t exist.

Sensitisation on hygiene through PHAST and HAMS committees that need to be established where they don’t exist is a continuous activity.

By December 2009, 54 committees had been established in different districts. The existence of these committees will mobilise the population to use and develop sanitation facilities and behaviour change towards good sanitation practices among communities.

Implementation of Kivu Retreat - Construction of Water Systems to supply all industries in Kigali. The existing industrial area in Kigali is supplied with water by RWASCO.

The main water supply system that passes through the new Free trade zone and Industry area in Nyandungu is already laid down and is supplied with water.

MININFRA requested a quotation from RWASCO to extend a water supply distribution network to the KIP.  The Quotation with BoCs is in place and a budget for implementation has been requested from 2010/11 Budget  under Urban Water supply Sub Program, now awaiting for MINECOFIN to allocate the funds


The Management Information System for WATSAN which was supposed to have been put in place in the previous review is now in place.

Training of four engineers and one system analyst at central (MININFRA) level was conducted. The strategy to operationalise it includes further training for these engineers and system administrator, and recruitment and training of district data analysts and system operators.


In order to implement the new and updated WATSAN services policy and, the following activities shall be given priority in the medium term:

MINIFRA has plans to develop an institutional framework capable of addressing complex water and sanitation sector issue. This will include, but not limited to the establishment of viable water and sanitation authority and a SWAp secretariat.

The infrastructure ministry has plans to improve sector communication by establishing sector communication strategy and operationalisation of monitoring information system.


 Plans are in pipeline to increase the number of water supply systems in rural areas operated by private operators, by developing the attractiveness of water services business, capacity building to improve their operating cost recovery and reduce technical losses.

The Ministry of Infrastructure works to ensure safe, reliable and affordable urban water supply services for all, while strengthening the financial viability of the utility.

To this end, we shall develop a tariff framework that addresses the issues of cost recovery, management, operation and maintenance, as well as sustainability of the systems and water resources.

Continue to raise household sanitation coverage to 65% by 2012.
Rwanda is looking forward to establish safe, well regulated and affordable off-site sanitation services for densely populated areas and shall implement integrated solid waste management in ways that are protective to human health and the environment.


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