A new water system in Mwiri and Rwinkwavu sectors of the Kayonza district, Rwanda, was officially inaugurated March 17 and will supply clean, safe water for 36 villages – including approximately 30,000 people, in addition to several schools, health centers and a major District hospital.
The system is expected to decrease water prices – in some villages from 250 to 30 Rwandan Francs per Jerry can – and villagers will now be able to access clean drinking water instead of the pond which they had previously shared with their cattle.
The water system, which integrates four sub-systems, uses water from nearby captured springs. It was designed and constructed as part of Winrock International’s Multiple-Use Water Services (MUS) activities within the Rwanda Integrated Water Security Program (RIWSP), funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
The system, which has a total length of 85 kilometers, has more than 90 taps – each equipped with a water meter. It will be managed under a public-private partnership: the District will own the system and a private operator will sell the water through local vendors to villagers.
On average, each water point serves 300 people living within a distance of approximately 500 meters. Schools, churches, health centers and the hospital will each have their own tap and each villages has established a water user committee to maintain service and water quality issues.
As one villager told the national radio station on the day the system was officially inaugurated: “It is the first time in 27 years I can drink clean water!”
Minister of Natural Resources Vincent Biruta, Eastern Province Governor Odette Uwamariya, and USAID Mission Director for Rwanda Peter Malnak attended the inauguration.