Nearly 250,000 households could no longer face the problem of water scarcity by 2018 as the government together with Aquasan Limited and FINA Bank move to facilitate each of the households with a rain harvesting tank.
According to Gaston Ndayisaba, Coordinator of the Rain Water Harvesting Project at Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA), residents in different areas of the country will be able to access a loan of about Rwf440,000 from FINA Bank.
The loan will be payable within a period of one year, which will make it easy for households especially farmers to harvest enough water during the rainy season and use it during the dry season.
Ndayisaba said that the RNRA has endorsed a memorandum of understanding with FINA Bank, Aquasan and district authorities to enable all residents under eligible conditions to access a loan from the bank without any mortgage required except the tank itself for a period of one year.
“Our target is to help our people solve the problem of water shortage especially during the dry season. That will increase their agricultural productivity,” he said.
The General Manager of Aquasan Limited, Rakesh Vikram Singh, said that the water harvesting loan scheme was designed as a solution to the constraints of limited financial capacity for some families to afford appropriate rain water harvesting facilities. The situation is also seen by the company as a business opportunity since it will make some profits selling water tanks while private stake holders will also have access to water.
Rakesh has called upon more financial institutions to come on board and support the project which has so far spread to districts of Rubavu, Nyabihu, Kicukiro, and Gasabo.
“We have the capacity to cover the entire country if the demand is there. However, we need more banks and other interested partners for this project to be scaled up countrywide,” Rakesh told The New Times.
Rain water harvesting was identified as a mitigating measure to some challenges related to water resources management such as erosion and flooding while contributing towards improving water availability for domestic uses and ground water recharge.
The national strategy for rain water harvest scheme targets to reach 226,502 households, 3,909 primary schools and secondary schools, and 2,596 administrative buildings by 2018.