Rwanda: Safe drinking water for 22,000 people

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Kigali (ICRC) - Around 22,000 people now have better access to safe drinking water thanks to a water-supply project which has just been completed by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Kabarondo, Ruramira and Kigarama, in Rwanda's Eastern Province.

The project, which was launched in January 2005 and cost 245 million Rwandan francs (around 450,000 US dollars), involved upgrading and expanding the water-supply network in the three localities. The work was carried out in cooperation with Electrogaz (the national water board) and the local population.

"This project will provide the beneficiaries with water supplies that are satisfactory both in terms of quantity and quality," said Tobias Epprecht, head of the ICRC delegation in Kigali.

An inauguration ceremony held today was attended by Rwanda's minister for infrastructure, the head of the ICRC delegation, the managing director of Electrogaz and the district mayors, in addition to other local authorities and people from the area served by the network.

To ensure that the systems last, the ICRC lent its support to the introduction of a water management scheme in rural areas around Kabarondo and Ruramira. In addition, it offered support and encouragement for the process by which Electrogaz took over responsibility for the technical management of a pumping station in nearby Bunono.

The ICRC is planning to complete another water-supply project this year in Mbazi, in the Huye district of the Southern Province. The total number of beneficiaries of the project is estimated to be over 10,000 people.

For further information, please contact:

Valery Mbaoh, ICRC Kigali, tel. +250 572785 or +250 0830 5069

Emmanuel Kagimbura, ICRC Kigali, tel. +250 0840 59 58