The City of Kigali and Bugesera District will have almost a three-fold water supply increase, thanks to a new water project that went operational this month.
Dubbed the Kigali Bulk Water Supply Project, the facility is a Public Private Partnership between the government and Metito, a global company that provides intelligent water management solutions.
Located in Kanzenze sector in Bugesera District, the project involves extracting groundwater from the southern bank of River Nyabarongo, building and operating a treatment plant for 40,000 cubic meters of water per day; in addition to supplying 30,000 cubic meters per day to Kigali and 10,000 to Bugesera.
The project comprises of a well field, a water treatment plant constructed by Kigali Water Limited, and associated forwarding infrastructure provided by the government that includes storage reservoirs and pipelines.
It has been in operation since February 10, first focusing on the places within the city that were facing serious water-supply challenges, among which are Kicukiro, Remera, Kimironko, Kabeza, Kanombe, Busanza, and Nyarugunga.
However, by the end of the first week of March, it will cover more areas including the Kigali Special Economic Zone, Ndera, Nyamata, Kanzenze-Karumuna, among others, as it will have reached its full capacity of 40,000 cubic meters of water.
On Wednesday, February 24, Claver Gatete, the Minister for Infrastructure, visited the project to witness its start of operation.
Speaking to the media, he said the project is not only an advantage in producing clean water, but in its storage as well, as he hinted on government's ongoing work to put in place water reservoirs,
"We have a plan to establish 41 water reservoirs and this will increase our capacity by more 86,900 cubic meters. Currently, we have 24 reservoirs with a capacity of 31,600 cubic meters altogether," he said. "So far, we have completed the construction of 14 new reservoirs: 12 in Kigali, and 2 in Bugesera. We are continuing with this work."
Speaking to media, citizens of areas that have been getting water from the project appreciated the fact that they rarely get outages currently.
"We would spend 2 weeks without water in the past. At some point, a jerry can was costing about Rwf250. Imagine, I could spend about Rwf2,000 on buying water. However, now, we have water at home in abundance because we rarely get outages," said Jean Bosco Fuma, a citizen of Gasaraba Kanombe.
Abinadab Habumugisha, a citizen of Bibare Kimironko said: "In the past, water would be available in our taps once a week. So, we would hire a lorry to go fetch us water, and this would cost about 35,000. However, now we have water here at home, and we are happy."
The Kigali Bulk Water project is part of a big project to rehabilitate, upgrade and extend water networks of 568km length in both Kigali and its peri-urban areas, and it is expected to accelerate the government's plans towards achieving the target of universal access to water by 2024.