KIGALI, 21 July (IRIN) - The EU signed a grant agreement on Thursday giving Rwanda €23 million (approx US $28 million) for a water project in the drought-prone Bugesera region in Kigali Rural Province.
"[The project would] improve living conditions for more than half a million children and adults - especially women - in Bugesera," David MacRae, the head of the EU's European Commission Delegation in Rwanda, said on Thursday.
A French company, Sogea Construction, has been awarded the contract to execute the project, which will include rehabilitating an existing water processing plant near the village of Karenge and building a new reservoir and water pumping station.
Work is to begin in August. By the time the project is complete in 19 months clean water will be delivered to the districts of Kanzenze, Bichumbi and Gashora in Kigali Rural as well as to Kanombe District in the east of Rwanda's capital, Kigali.
Access to drinking water would improve living standards for women and children who, MacRae said, "must otherwise spend a good part of their day carrying water".
The semi arid conditions in Bugesera region have also led to food shortages.
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