In Africa, climate change impacts particularly on water supplies and arable land. South African Archbishop, Desmond Tutu, described Earth Hour, commemorated on March 28, “as a global vote for action on climate change and potentially one of the greatest social movements the world has ever witnessed.”
According to the latest reports from National Institute of Statistics, 80 percent of the diseases that affect Rwandans are waterborne. Only 64 percent of Rwandans have access to safe drinking water.
The report showed that access to safe water has increased in
Kigali, although many people still used boreholes and unprotected springs because of the free. The report indicates that due to the growing population, water provision continues to be a main challenge to planners.
The population is growing at an annual level of 2.6 percent this poses a big challenge to water provision sustainability. Lack of water is largely felt by women and girls who are forced to spend the greater part of their day in search for water. Girls are kept out of school so as they can fetch water for family use.
As the world commemorated the World Water Day, Rwanda was celebrating an achievement of its own. The government inaugurated the Mizingo water supply system in the Western Province.
The project is aimed at improving the water and sanitation facilities and was facilitated through the support of Aqua Rwanda, a Dutch NGO-Pure Water in Nature and is the management of Aqua Virunga.
“With partnerships such as this one, brokered by UNICEF, piped water will become an attainable dream for half a million Rwandans by 2013,” said Engineer Albert Butare, the State’s Minister for Infrastructure, in charge of Water and Energy, on the commemoration of the Water day.
“Thanks to generous funding by both UNICEF and the Dutch Government of over USD 20 million for the next five years, the Government of Rwanda is closer to achieving its Vision 2020 and the Millennium Development Goals for increased access to water and sanitation,” the Minister concluded.
The government renewed it commitment to providing water to areas that continue in lack. Many non governmental organizations have already joined the course to provide water to needy communities in Rwanda.
During the World Water Day the UNICEF representative in Rwanda commented on his organisation’s commitment to delivery and support of water in rural Rwanda.
“We look forward to continuing our work with communities, local government, ministries, the private sector and international development partners, to increase resources for sanitation and hygiene,” said Dr. Joseph Foumbi, UNICEF’s country representative remarked.
Dutch funding will be used to upgrade and to construct water and sanitation facilities for communities, 200 primary schools and 50 health centres in districts of Rubavu, Musanze, Nyabihu and Burera.
This is one of the many partnerships and endeavours needed to ensure that this basic necessity is available to everyone, in a clean safe and easily accessible manner.