Rwanda needs Rwf12,000 billion to ensure universal access to clean water by 2050

By Esther Muhozi
On 12 December 2023 at 03:56

The Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC), has declared a funding requirement of at least Rwf 12,000 billion to ensure universal access to clean water, aligning with Rwanda’s vision to ensure high standards of living for all Rwandans by 2050.

This announcement emerged during discussions at the International Conference on December 11, 2023, organized by the International Water Association (IWA) in collaboration with the WASAC and other stakeholders.

The conference, attended by over a thousand scholars, delved into strategies for global water provision and modern hygiene and sanitation. Prof. Omar Munyaneza, CEO of WASAC, emphasized the need for over $400 million annually to achieve Rwanda’s clean water and sanitation goals, acknowledging the financial challenges.

Addressing the current state of water treatment plants, Prof. Munyaneza highlighted the need to expand infrastructure, particularly pipes, to meet growing demands as Rwanda undergoes rapid development. He stressed the urgency to address aging and insufficient pipes, emphasizing projects aimed at long-term sustainability beyond 2050.

Partnerships play a crucial role in WASAC’s progress, with recent support from the African Development Bank amounting to Rwf342 billion for water projects in ten districts. The initiative, spanning three years from January 2024, includes repairing the Nzove Water Plant and aims to address water inequality issues.

Despite achieving a water distribution rate of 82.3%, Minister of Infrastructure, Dr. Jimmy Gasore, attributes the success to ongoing projects aligned with the Vision 2050. He emphasizes the significance of the recently approved water and sanitation policy in attracting partners and investments.

Vision 2050, a decision stemming from the 13th National Dialogue Council in 2015, seeks to elevate Rwanda’s economy, with per capita income projections reaching 4036$ in 2035 and 12476$ in 2050. The World Bank estimates a global need of 22.6 billion dollars over the next 27 years to provide clean water universally.

Tom Mollenkopf, Head of IWA, underscores the importance of political will and international collaboration to address the shared challenge of water provision, emphasizing the need for joint efforts to find effective solutions.