18 December 2012

Rwanda: Officials Call for Proper Water Management

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Rwanda Water Partnership, in collaboration with the Netherlands Development Organisation (SNV Rwanda), have urged the public to better manage water.

The Deputy Director General in the Ministry of Natural Resources in charge of Water Management, Vincent De Paul Kabalisa, said that poor water management and sanitation must be a concern to everyone.

"We are in the process of empowering people and make sure that the (issue of) water is discussed at all levels; ministerial level, non governmental organisations and at the community level," he told The New Times on the sidelines of a workshop in Kigali.

He added; "We need to discuss and understand the concept of water challenges and look at how to increase access to clean water and sanitation."

He further emphasised that access to clean water had become a human rights issue.

"We need to see water as a human right; we need to fight for it; we need to see water as essential and a priority," he added.

Liliose Umupfasoni, the chairperson of Rwanda Water Partnership, stressed, "Everything starts with managing water resources. Without proper water resource management, there will be neither supply for agriculture nor for different purposes."

She said that Rwandans should adopt rain water harvesting to cope with the scarcity of water especially in rural areas. A project to harvest rain water has already started in various secondary schools faced with water scarcity, especially in Rulindo District.

James Addo, a Director at SNV Rwanda called for a campaign to mobilise people to properly manage water resources.

"The priority is to mobilise all people from all sectors on how to use water properly. The mobilisation should start from households to industries and institutions and all the people should join efforts to make others aware that they should use and manage water properly," Addo proposed.

Participants singled out agriculture as one of the worst water polluters.

Over 72 per cent of Rwandans have access to water and in five years, it is projected that the figure will rise to 100 per cent of the population, according to information from Energy and Water Sanitation Authority (EWASA).

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