EDITORIAL: New water tariffs will boost water access in rural areas

Access to safe water in rural areas is set to increase following the introduction of lower water tariffs. The water tariffs in rural areas were revised downward by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), and private water vendors in rural areas are expected to comply with the directive immediately.

Access to safe water in rural areas is set to increase following the introduction of lower water tariffs. The water tariffs in rural areas were revised downward by the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority (RURA), and private water vendors in rural areas are expected to comply with the directive immediately.

The significant down-ward revision of water tariffs is good news for people in rural areas where access to safe water is still a challenge, especially in terms of affordability. The purchasing power of rural dwellers is still lower compared to urban centres, making water more affordable comes with many benefits.

 

This will save rural dwellers that could not afford paid water, and depended on free but unsafe sources of water

 

The over 40 firms supplying water in rural areas should look at this initiative as a win win situation for their businesses and the communities where they operate.

 

Indeed the private water service providers should move fast and comply with the new tariffs as they mull more ways of ensuring that in future that water is affordable to every household. This is because even with the reduced tariffs to Rwf 8 per jerry can and Rwf 338 per cubic meter (m3) , the cheapest some people may still not be able to afford it.

Like James Sano, the Chief Executive of Water and Sanitation Corporation Ltd (WASAC) said, the revision of water tariffs was to ensure affordability of water as well as sustainability of services.

Going forward the respective authorities in the water sector should look at ways of making water much cheaper because although 84.8 per cent of Rwandans have access to clean water, many still can’t afford it.

Like the saying goes water is life. Being able to access it in the required quantities is what every citizen deserves.

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