20 March 2014

Rwanda: New Water System Expected to Benefit Thousands

As the country celebrates national water week, the government's plan to increase clean water access to the population took a step in the right direction as a new Frw 1 billion Migera water system was officially launched in Kayonza.

The Migera system includes the construction of a new water supply system, Migera III, and the rehabilitation and extension of Migera I, Migera II and the Rwazana water supply systems in the same area. The project that started in November last year is expected to be finalized by March 2015.

Over 30,000 people are expected to benefit from the project that will give access to clean and safe drinking water for households and small scale farmers in approximately 30 communities. Critical district institutions such as Rwinkwavu Hospital, two health centers, seven public schools, local churches and commercial centers located in the project zone are also set to benefit.

Construction will occur in two phases and unlike in previous projects, three companies have been contracted to carry out the work.

"Usually when one company is contracted, there is a tendency of shoddy work; that's why we expect this to be of high standard," said the governor of Eastern Province, Odette Uwamariya.

Substandard work has been to blame for most of the stalled infrastructure projects in the province with more than 60% of the projects having a life span of less than a year after being set up.

Poor infrastructure maintenance was also cited as a major challenge by the Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi, who said this must change to enable citizens benefit from such projects.

"Citizens should be sensitized on how to properly handle such infrastructure so as to be able to benefit them for longer periods of time," he noted.

The project is being fully funded by USAID through Rwanda's Integrated Water Security Program, which works to improve the sustainable management of water quantity and quality to improve human health, food security, and resiliency to climate change for vulnerable communities at particular risk of water insecurity in Rwanda

Peter Malnak, the USAID/Rwanda mission director, promised more funding for such projects in the near future.

"The Migera Water System is an excellent example of how USAID seeks to work in Rwanda through projects that integrate across sectors to have meaningful impact on the lives of individuals and their communities, USAID will continue to support projects that bring about a positive impact to communities," Malnak said.

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