Rwamagana – The government, in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), launched Eastern Province rural water supply Master Plan, yesterday, aimed at increasing access to clean water in the area.
The launch doubled as a kick-off event for Rwanda Water Week.The US$ 1.4m project was developed, through comprehensive consultation with stakeholders.
It is expected that the Master Plan will be integrated into the annual budget of local authorities, and utilized to mobilize funds for its implementation.
The Minister of Lands and Environment, Stanislas Kamanzi, reiterated government’s commitment to extend clean water to every Rwandan.
He explained that the Master Plan will work alongside the irrigation Master Plan, so that water supply covers even the agriculture sector.
“It is unfortunate that we have abundant water resources that are not fully exploited,” the Minister said.
“We aim at providing safe water within a reasonable distance at the Master plan will thus help us to effectively implement the project.”
The Japanese Ambassador to Rwanda, Hatanaka Kunio, whose speech was preceded by an emotional story about the effects of a recent Tsunami in his country, reaffirmed Japan’s commitment to cooperate with Rwanda to attain MDGs.
He said that the area of water and sanitation is one among many, which Japan is targeting.
“Eastern Province population is one of the 6.5 million people in Africa, Japan is targeting to provide water to. Japan is, therefore, committed to helping the Province and Rwanda realise the newly adopted rural water supply Master Plan,” he said.
The Governor of Eastern Province, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kacyira thanked the JICA for the support.
“The need for safe water supply in rural areas cannot be overemphasised...the master plan will guide us towards achieving 100% water supply in our Province,” she said.
JICA supports the government of Rwanda in improving rural water supply, especially, Eastern Province through providing grants as well as technical support.