Rwandan Legislators skeptical over water access target

Rwandan Legislators skeptical over water access target

Rwandan legislators have expressed pessimism towards the government’s activities towards water and sanitation, saying it seems unrealistic to reach 100% water access by 2017, going by the current statistics.

In a speech to both chambers of the Parliament, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi said the government is committed to meeting universal water access to 100% of Rwanda’s population by next year.

According to statistics, access to clean water rose from 74.2% in 2010 to 84.8% in 2015, while the 7-year target intends to reach 100% in the whole country.

Rwandan legislators wonder how the government intends to cover the remaining 15.2% in only two years yet only 10.6% was recorded in a span of five years.

The Prime Minister said, “The 100% target by 2017 has not changed. Instead, we have to move faster, much faster than we have doing it.”

He added that access to clean water should not exceed 200-metre distance in cities and 500-metre in rural places from home to water taps.

The legislators questioned the current statistics regarding to access of water, saying that the real situation on the ground cannot support government’s figure and that some places are taken to have access to water due to the presence of water infrastructure which is lying idle

Noting an example of the Rwf8 billion that was spent in developing valley dams instead of pumping water from rivers and lakes around the country, MP Nkusi said that government’s targets are derailed by officials who opt to go for the more expensive projects so as to get loopholes for  embezzling public funds in tenders.

MP Edouard Bamporiki gave an example of water crisis being experienced in Busanza, Kicukiro District where many people are struggling to collect dirty water in the valley and called for action.

MP JMV Gatabazi appealed to the government to urgently repair damaged water lines because it is of no use to have idle infrastructure for up to 4 months because of a simple crack in water pipes, giving an example of a case in Gicumbi District.

He said that projects onboard include the constructing new and refurbishing existing water ways, expansion of existing water treatment plants, constructing new ones, will see off water shortage problems.

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