The Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) has started grassroots consultations to update the national policy for water supply and sanitation.
The existing water and sanitation policy came into play in 2010.
The proposed policy will include aspects such as household and institutional sanitation and hygiene, solid waste management and storm water handling, along with other crosscutting issues.
Aimé Muzora, the water and sanitation division manager at MININFRA, revealed this development on Tuesday in Huye District during a consultative meeting about the water and sanitation policy.
The meeting brought together mayors and vice mayors, as well as the private sector partners in water and sanitation in the Southern Province.
Among the proposed changes that Muzora announced was the separation of water and sanitation into two independent bodies.
Currently, Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) deals with both water supply and sanitation.
“We are revising the policy so that the aspect of sanitation and hygiene will receive the same priority that the aspect of water has,” he said.
Muzora informed the meeting that there would be an awareness campaign to educate people about hygiene and efficient water use at household level.
Fidèle Nteziyaremye, a consultant in water and sanitation, said 2 per cent of Rwandans in rural areas did not have access to toilets.
However, he said the rate was low, citing the example of India, where 600 million people lacked toilet facilities.
According to the Integrated Households Living Conditions Survey 2013/2014 (EICV4), access to clean water and sanitation improved with households using improved sanitation (toilets) increasing from 74.5 per cent in 2011 to 83.4 per cent in 2014; while during the same period households with access to improved sources of drinking water increased from 74.2 per cent to 84.8 per cent.
Nteziyaremye said the private sector had a role to play in improving sanitation.
Nyanza District mayor Abdallah Murenzi reiterated the private sector’s role.
“The reason waste is still waste is that we have not yet attained the capacities to make business and development opportunities from it through recycling, but as we move forward, and as the country develops, people will realise that it is an opportunity,” he said.