At least 5,235 families in Gahengeri Sector of Rwamagana District of Rwanda can now access clean water following the inauguration, on Saturday, of a 13.2-kilometre water supply system that will serve residents, schools, hospitals and local businesses.
According to Eng. Olive Mukandayishimiye, until the development, only two cells in the sector accessed clean drinking water.
“It is a sad reality that only 3,487 out of 19,367 of the population accessed clean water. The new project has increased the percentage of coverage,” she said.
“The time children spent walking long distances to fetch water will now be used to study. Girls will also be spared the risk of walking in isolated places where they are exposed to people who sexually abuse them,” Mukandayishimiye said.
Marie Rose Murekatete, a resident, said the availability of clean water in the area was a milestone.
“A few people with money would pay Rwf300 for a 20-litre jerrycan of water, unless you had to walk long distances to fetch some. Now a jerrycan costs only Rwf30,” Murekatete said.
“I have toiled and suffered in search of clean water since childhood. Sometimes I attribute my stunted growth to the distance and hills I climbed in search of water. Today,it’s amazing that I can see clean water just at my doorstep,” she said.
The Minister of State in charge of Energy, Water and Sanitation, Germaine Kamayirese, who presided over the function, urged residents to guard the water system jealously.
“That you now have water and electricity in your villages, you must not have any more excuse; use the time you used to waste searching for water to engage in economic activities.”
“You have to guard the water system against any form of destruction, It is through such kind of responsibility that we will be able to protect the water resource and realise development targets,” she said.
Rwanda targets 100 per cent access to clean water by 2020.
Source: New Times Rwanda