Renewed effort to address water shortages

THE PROBLEM of persistent water shortages in Kigali and other parts of the country will be solved in two to six years following the approval of a new water master plan.

THE PROBLEM of persistent water shortages in Kigali and other parts of the country will be solved in two to six years following the approval of a new water master plan.

 This was revealed by a Ministry of Natural Resources (MINIRENA) official following the approval by Cabinet last Wednesday of the National Water Resources Master Plan. 

Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) continues to struggle to meet Kigali’s demand of 110,000 cubic metres of water per day, leaving almost half of the city’s residents without consistent supply water in their homes. 

With the demand increasing due to infrastructure development and population growth, the master plan aims to address the current water resource challenges, according to Vincent Kabalisa, the head of Integrated Water Resource Department in the Ministry of Natural Resources.

 “The Government acknowledges that the water resources in Rwanda face growing challenges arising from pressures of rapidly changing demographic patterns, the demands of intensified socio-economic development, inappropriate land use practices and the uncertainties created by climate change, among others,” he told The New Times last week.

  “Meeting the above challenges requires a sound master plan supported by institutions and technically competent personnel.”

Kabalisa said although the country is blessed with abundant water resources, water scarcity continues to plague many homes due to poor infrastructure.

With the master plan, he said, we will know the available water resources on the surface and underground.

The new master plan will allow the country to avail enough water to multiple users and thereby create sustainable economic development, according Kabalisa.

 He added that increasing water catchment areas in the country from the available nine will in the long run address the issue of water shortages.

Currently, Muvumba multipurpose dam project worth $172 million is under construction, and is expected to secure stable water resources for domestic water supply at 135.1 million cubic metres.

 The dam, which will be located in Nyagatare District, Karama and Gatunda sectors, will have total storage of 73.16 million cubic metres.

 Funded by KOICA, the South Korean development agency and the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority, the master plan was developed by two companies –  K-Water and Yooshin.

The new water master plan is derived from the Rwanda National Policy for Water Resources Management that was approved by the Cabinet in February 2011 with a primary objective of providing an equitable allocation framework for water resources.

 

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