The New Times (Kigali)

13 July 2012

Rwanda: U.S.$20 Million Water Project Launched

A US$20m water project, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project was launched by World Vision Rwanda in Karongi District on Wednesday.

The five-year project will cover nine districts through extending clean water and sanitation to communities.

Over 675000 are expected to benefit from the project.

The project's launch which also saw the inauguration of a 17km water pipeline in Karongi, which was constructed with the assistance of the Korean agency, KOICA, was attended by the Minister of Infrastructure Albert Nsengiyumva.

World Vision Rwanda National Director, George Gitau, said that the initiative is in line with their efforts towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by providing safe water to all.

He shared the main goal of Ubuzima WASH program, which he said was to significantly reduce the under-five year mortality rate by ensuring 95% access to safe water supply, 80% access to improved sanitation and 80% good hygiene practices in areas covered by World Vision Rwanda.

"Through Ubuzima WASH program, we will contribute to achieving the fourth goals of the MDGs; which is about reducing child mortality rates," pointed out Gitau.

Beneficiaries of this water in Karongi include local residents, an army camp, a police station, a primary and high school, health centers among others.

Minister Nsengiyumva acknowledged World Vision's involvement in community water supply through the WASH program and the construction of Mukura Rubengera water supply system, which he said was a big contribution towards the government efforts to achieve its Vision 2020.

He called on other NGOs and the private sector to embrace the commitment by setting up such infrastructure - a responsibility, he said, that has been almost only held by the government for a long time.

He said that the government is working with other development partners to increase access to safe water from 71% today to 100% by 2017.

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