By 2012, all Rwandans should have access to clean water, the Minister of State in Charge of Energy and Water, Dr. Albert Butare has pledged.
According to the Minister, the country has already shown impressive efforts towards attaining this goal, thus bringing the Millennium Development Goals’ target closer to 2012 rather than 2015 as stipulated.
“Apparently most districts have achieved about 70 percent access with Nyamagabe (Southern province) at 73 percent. We are therefore encouraging people to have water resources closer and we are certain that by 2012 every Rwandan will have access to safe water within a very short distance,” Butare said in an interview Wednesday.
Last Monday Rwanda, began to commemorate for the 17th time, Water Week ahead of the World Water Day which is slated for the 22nd of March.
In line with this year’s theme, “Shared water, shared opportunities,” the Minister added that Rwanda is preparing for the celebrations by emphasising lack of access to drinking water as the major problem to be focused on during the water week.
“Due to the major role that safe water plays towards development, Rwanda introduced the water week so that people can be reminded of the importance of water, how to maintain it and protect it,” he said. The water week started on Monday and will end this Sunday.
“Since the week began, we have been moving to different districts sensitising Rwandans and development partners to enable us meet our set target of bringing safe water to every citizen by 2012,” the Minister added.
As part of the week long celebrations in Nyamagabe District, the government in collaboration with development partners from Austria and the European Union (EU) launched three water canals.
Butare said that the canals will increase the number of people accessing clean water in the district by 14,418. Two other networks are also set to be established in the same district to reach 36,000 more people.
The team together with World Bank and the Netherlands Embassy, Tuesday initiated networks worth Rwf59.4m that has also significantly benefitted over 28,000 more people.
According to the Minister, more work will be carried out in Gatsibo and Rubavu districts in the eastern and western provinces respectively.
The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in New York, so that people worldwide can reflect on the importance of water.