At least 55,000 residents from 11 sectors in Kirehe and Ngoma districts will benefit from an $18 million water project financed by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) upon completion this year.
According to Ido Masaharu, the operations and maintenance specialist at JICA, apart from construction and rehabilitation of water facilities in the two districts, the project will provide support towards the establishment of water management committees to operate and maintain the facilities while enhancing the capacity of district authorities to supervise water-based cooperatives.
Masaharu added that his agency has offered requisite knowledge and skills to local personnel to maintain the water projects in their respective districts. Already, JICA has trained at least 30 residents of the two districts on water management and maintenance.
He noted that the training targeted District Water Task Force (DWRF) and Water Service Providers (WSPs) of the two districts.
"It is an enhancement of the capacities of private organisations for operation and maintenance of water schemes. It is also about strengthening the institutional administrative system of private organisations to operate and maintain water facilities."
"For the sake of sustainability, the local population has to know how to manage the water infrastructure. We spent seven days on training...we are now confident the five water schemes will be properly managed," he said.
The Director of Planning and Budget in Eastern Province, Boniface Nirenganya, said the Province was working round the clock to ensure supply of clean water to all residents.
He said different partners including JICA, Lake Victoria project, EWSA, among others, were doing their best to realise set targets.
"We want people in rural areas to access water at least 500 metres from their homes, while urban populations would get it within 200 metres. Water supply is also designed to improve from 58.4 per cent to 72 per cent."