Government efforts to deliver clean water to all Rwandans have received a cash boost of $154 million (about Rwf136 billion) from the African Development Bank.
Through the new financing, that was announced yesterday, Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) is expected to deliver piped water to 1.5 million rural Rwandans by 2023, according to officials.
WASAC was receiving an additional financing from the bank under a programme which is set benefit a total of 2.6 million people by 2023.
Speaking during the launch of the project Aimée Muzora, the WASAC director general, said the programme's first phase is being implemented in the City of Kigali and six secondary cities at a cost of $281 million from the African Development Bank.
The entire project will cost $400 million, according to officials.
"This programme will help our people get clean water, and hence improve their living conditions," said Muzora
The proposed additional financing will cover water supply infrastructure in sixteen districts with only 45 per cent of access to water, compared to the national average of 85 per cent, according to WASAC.
Muzora said: "We are very committed to meeting the deadline, we need to avoid delays and improve our communication, we also need to collaborate with other partners," he added.
The country, especially in the City of Kigali, has faced sustained shortage of water.
Muzora said that WASAC was aware of the issue, explaining that it was being caused by relying on dilapidated infrastructure to deliver water to some parts of Kigali.
He added that there was mismatch between the demand and supply since the number of consumers has significantly increased.
According to Haji Fauzia Mwita, the Country Programme Officer of African Development Bank, the bank prioritises, among other issues, improving people's lives and this can't be achieved without delivering water to them.
"We are here for the development of Africa as a bank and we have high five priority areas, one of them improving quality of life for the people of Africa and I don't think anyone would deny that water is life. We are trying to improve the lives of Rwandans through the programme," she noted.
Under national water and sanitation distribution policy, access to water means that people walk less than 200 metres in urban areas and less than 500 metres in rural area. Based on this, access to water in the country stands at 62 per cent, according to WASAC.