Musanze to get new water reservoir

The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) in conjunction with Musanze District plans to put up another water reservoir in Rugeshi cell, Cyuve Sector.
Musanze residents at a water point this week. (Jean Fidele Ndungutse)
Musanze residents at a water point this week. (Jean Fidele Ndungutse)

The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) in conjunction with Musanze District plans to put up another water reservoir in Rugeshi cell, Cyuve Sector.

The 400 cubic meter reservoir is expected to serve over 1,200 households, according Jean Claude Murigo, the Manager of WASAC, Musanze branch.

The project will cost about Rwf48 million, according to Murigo.

He said expropriation would start soon and once it is done, it will take three months to complete setting up the water reservior.

The official said the plan is to have another reservoir of 1000 cubic meters at Nyamuremure, a panoramic hill in Musanze.

Once it is put in place, the town and its suburbs can at least be supplied effectively even during the dry season, he said.

“The [current] Nyamagumba reservoir is small and very old, it was constructed in 1980s. It has 300 cubic meters for 150 households with entry tube of 200 millmetres in 45 minutes and an exit tube of 315 millmetres. The exit tube is bigger than the entry one.”

He was reacting to complaints of water shortages in various parts of the province as the dry season continues.

Residents and managers of public places such as schools, bars and restaurants have raised concerns over prolonged water shortages in their respective locations.

They blamed property developers works for ‘misusing’ water which should be distributed for domestic use.

Francoise Mukamana a 30-year-old resident of Cyuve Sector in Musanze District, said she has to wake up at night to look for water every night. Pipes are dry during day time.

“Water supply does not reach my settlement during the dry season. So, I fetch water from neighbouring settlements at night,” Mukamana said.

The water shortage has also affected schools, bars and other businessess.

Jean Claude Mbonimpa , the school head teacher at Ecole des Sciences de Musanze, a boarding school with more than 700 students, said third term will be challenging if the dry season persists due to water related costs.

“If the dry season persists and water remains unavailable, culinary activities, bathrooms, classrooms, dormitories and refectories will be seriously affected,” said Mbonimpa.

“This school is very big. Maintaining its hygiene will not be easy this term if the the water shortage continues,” he added.

The school spends around Rwf1 million per month on water.

Pastor Jean Marie Vianney Bayingana, the head teacher of Ecole Secodaire de Gahunga in Burera District, said water shortage is a big challenge.

Some residents of Musanze also blamed developers for ‘wasting’ a lot of water.

“Construction activities during dry season directly affect water flow in some quarters and, therefore, some people fail to get water from nearby WASAC plants,” Emmanuel Bizimungu, a resident of Muhoza sector in Musanze District claimed.

In Gicumbi District, residents are compelled to travel long distances to fetch water.

The shortage in Gicumbi has also been attributed to dry season, power outages and construction of roads which has seen water channels broken.

“We have been facing water shortages for some time. You can hardly run a business without water, people in butcheries, dairies and restaurants are affected the most. Due to water shortage a jerrycan of water costs Rwf400,” said a business man who gave his name only as Peter.

Alexandre Mvuyekure, Gicumbi District Mayor, attributed the water shortage to a technical glitch at Nyamabuye power plant which would soon be sorted.

Murigo maintained that the water shortage is also due to the dry spell.

Murigo urged the public to use water sparingly during the dry season.

Culinary activities, washing clothes and cleaning bathrooms should be priority while watering gardens and other similar activities should be secondary, Murigo said.

The current national water production of 130,000m3 per day is insufficient as 65,000m3 is distributed in Kigali City alone.

Through this public-private partnerships, government hopes to increase water production to satisfy the country’s demand by 2018, from the current 75 per cent.


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