Last week's launch of clean water projects to benefit 328 villages in Kicukiro District, though the district authorities in partnership with the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), and Water for People Rwanda, is a big step in the fight against water-borne diseases. The benefits of water in ensuring a healthy population cannot be over-emphasised.
The launch comes in the wake of global reports indicating that in every 20 seconds, a child dies from water-borne illness. The United Nations estimates that safe water reduces the global disease burden by a tenth. This is indeed a big step towards disease fight. The safe water project is also a significant step in trying to improve school attendance and reduce the dropout rate especially among girls, which ultimately improves literacy.
Economically, each dollar invested in safe drinking water gains three to four dollars depending on the region and technology, the World Health Organisation estimates.
Globally, women are said to spend more than 200 million hours a day collecting water.
Experts have cited water as the only natural limit to economic growth.
For developing countries like Rwanda, therefore, investment in water can help a great deal in its goal to attain middle income status by 2020.
The government has committed itself to the ambitious goal to have 100 per cent to safe drinking water and sanitation services by the end of 2017.
Hence, the call to local leaders is to mobilise residents to invest more time in more income generating activities.