Rwanda has become an African leader when it comes to providing its citizens access to safe sanitation, but its progress could stall if funding is not increased, a report by the international development charity Water Aid has found.
The report released on Wednesday, “Keeping Promises: Why African leaders need now to deliver on their past water and sanitation commitments,” applauded Rwanda for its efforts in improving water and sanitation quality throughout the country, but warned that increased government spending is needed if the country is to keep on track with meeting its Millennium Development Goals.
A survey conducted by the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) found that 1.4 Rwandans over the age of 16 gained access to safe sanitation over the past five years.
Access levels increased from 58.5% in 2005/2006 to 74.5% in 2010/2011, the survey found.
It’s progress means Rwanda has a unique opportunity to demonstrate to other African governments the success that can come from strong government commitment, targeted investment and collaboration with development partners.
However, the WaterAid report discovered a funding gap of $83 million, money that must be invested in sanitation if the Rwandan government is to meet its water and sanitation goals by 2017.
“Rwanda has made historic progress in increasing access to sanitation and WaterAid is proud to work alongside a government that has shown real political leadership in this area,” said Nshuti Rugerinyange, Water Aid Rwanda’s team leader.