The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency have signed a technical cooperation agreement that will bring clean water to the drought-ridden Eastern province.
The $5 million agreement was signed Thursday 10th, by the Chief Executive Officer of WASAC, Alfred D. Byigero, and the representative of JICA, Maruo Shin.
It will run for five years, and include training of Rwandans, in a transfer of skills to maintain water supply infrastructure. It will also involve the rehabilitation of already existing water systems.
The areas of Nyagatare,Gatsibo, Kayonza, Rwamagana, Ngoma, Kirehe, and Bugesera districts are prone to drought and scarcity of water.
“With this project, we expect a significant improvement in extending water to the beneficiaries and strengthening planning, cooperation and implementation of rural water supply systems, improvement in water quality control and management,” Eng. Alfred said.
“It will be important in capacity development through applications of technologies and knowledge, mapping all water supply systems and regular updating. As the project is agreed upon, we would convey our much gratitude to JICA for their continuous development of the water sector.”
According to Eng. Alfred, the cooperation agreement is on the right track on achieving the most important goals for 2017-2024 that targets universal access to clean water in the country.
He also said that the move is in line with the country’s National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) targets for 2024.
Under this strategy, access to water will be scaled up to all from 85 % (Estimates 2017) to 100% by 2024. He said that cooperation with partners like JICA in the water sector will be key in achieving this target.
“There are several components in this project, but an important one is capacity enhancements for rural water supply stakeholders like the district staff, private operators, and the community itself. Good communication will be important here,” Shin noted.
“Safe water supply is also essential for the improvement of nutrition status, which is a development agenda in this country,” said Shin.
According to the Water for Growth organization report for 2018, the water accessibility rate for the Eastern Province stands at 52%, far below the country’s average of 75%.
This project is expected to bring water accessibility in the Eastern province to the national average.