Saturday, March 31, 2012

New Water Channels to Serve 67,000 Residents in the South Rwanda

                                  Antoinette Uwimana fetches water from the newly installed water tap.

The channels, which will provide safe drinking water, were commissioned by a water and sanitation project, known by its French acronym as PEPAPS.

James Sano, the Deputy Director General in charge of water and sanitation at the Rwanda Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), observed that the government has put much efforts in increasing access to safe and clean water.

“We are still working tirelessly to ensure that every citizen in this country has access to safe drinking water,” he said during the launch.

He urged residents to protect and safeguard the facilities for their own interest.
An area resident, Antoinette Uwimana from Akaboti Cell, in Kansi Sector of Gisagara District, was among the beneficiaries.

“We used to travel long distances before we could reach a water point and once there, we had to wait for long hours as there were always a lot of people,” he said.

Apart from health and hygienic enhancement, area residents said the new channels would help them spend less time in search of water, thus engaging more on productive activities. 

They noted that the lack of clean water within the vicinity of their homesteads affected them in many ways.

“Our children used to miss classes as they had to go looking for water but they now spend a few minutes,” commented Celestin Minani, an area resident.

“These water networks will also impact on improving hygienic conditions among the population and contribute a lot in reducing the number of people affected by diseases related to poor hygiene.”

Charles Hatungimana, the Director of College Saint Joseph de Kansi, welcomed the development noting that this would help the school to spend less money on water.

“We habitually paid bicycle riders to bring us water, which cost us about Rwf30,000 a day. We hope to save that money and use it in developing the school,” he said.

PEPAPS is a programme co-funded by the Government of Rwanda, Belgium and the European Union, and operates in the Southern Province. It deals with water conveyance, hygiene and sanitation promotion in Huye, Gisagara and Nyaruguru districts.

A recent Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies (EDPRS) report indicated that access to clean water increased from about 64 per cent in 2006 to over 74 per cent in 2011. The target is to have all the population access clean water by 2017.
Written by Jean Pierre Bucyensenge@Spy Ghana

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