The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved two loans amounting to $171 million (about Rwf144 billion) to finance Rwanda’s Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation programme.
The programme is designed to improve the quality of life and socio-economic development of the country by ensuring equitable provision of adequate, reliable and sustainable water and sanitation services for targeted cities with a view to promote economic growth and transformation.
Under the programme, water supply and sanitation infrastructure and services will be provided in Kigali and satellite towns of Rubavu, Rusizi, Nyagatare, Muhanga, Huye, Musanze and Karongi, according to a statement from AfDB. According to the statement, an estimated 1.1 million people are expected to benefit from improved water supply services, while 475,000 others will have access to better sanitation.
The programme supports the country’s Vision 2020, which envisions scaling up investments in reliable, affordable and environmentally sustainable infrastructure and water and sanitation services as key drivers and enablers of economic transformation and rural development.
Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), the goal is to increase access to improved water supply and sanitation to 100 per cent and 58.3 per cent, respectively. The project “fits within the Bank’s country strategy paper for 2017–2021 for Rwanda with regards to investing in energy and water infrastructure to foster inclusive and green growth”.
“By providing sustainable and affordable water and sanitation services, the programme will help accelerate development and improve the quality of life of the people as espoused by the Bank’s high five priorities under the Ten Year Strategy, 2013-2022,” according to the statement.
The programme will be implemented in 48 months from January 2018 at a total cost of $262 million. The AfDB’s $121.137 million loan and $50 million Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF) loan account for 65.24 per cent of the total cost. The European Investment Bank and the Government of Rwanda will contribute 19.25 per cent (about €45 million) and 15.51 per cent (over $40.6 million), respectively.
Germaine Kamayirese, Rwanda’s State Minister for Energy, Water and Sanitation, said in an earlier interview that access to clean water and sanitation services remains one of government’s top priority. “The goal is to achieve 100 per cent access to clean water from the current 85 per cent by 2020 to be able to realise the government objectives,” she said.
Why investing in water and sanitation
In 2004, the World Health Organisation found that investing $1 in water, sanitation and hygiene education would bring health and other benefits of between $3 and $34, depending on the technology used.