25 December 2012

Rwanda: Civil Society Discusses Access to Clean Water

Representatives of various civil society organizations, under their umbrella Rwanda Civil Society Platform (RCSP), met last Friday to discuss how they can better enable the masses to access clean water.

They said despite the commitment and achievements by the government regarding availing clean water to communities, there still exists gaps that should bridged if the country's Vision 2020 is to be achieved.

Citing the recent upgrade of the national policy and strategy for water and sanitation services, officials from the organisations observed that progress had been made.

"What has been achieved can never be underestimated especially in extending water supply and sanitation coverage over the years, but it is equally important that areas which are experiencing shortages are given priority," Thadde Karekezi, the Executive Secretary of the platform, said.

He made the remarks during public policy dialogue which the platform organised to collectively discuss and seek lasting solutions to the problem.

In some districts including Gatsibo, Nyaruguru, Gakenke and Nyaruguru, the population still experiences shortage of water supply, lack of enough boreholes, poor maintenance of water pumps and sources, as well as poor mechanism on the management of water supply projects, according to a survey.

Karekezi said while each household requires between 60 to 80 liters a day, in some areas it takes residents hours to fetch water.

Albert Yaramba, the head of water project and programmes management unit at Energy Water and Sanitation Authority, said the parastatal will do whatever it takes to address these challenges.

He said that the target is to ensure that the entire population gets access to clean water by 2020.

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