Monday, 10 August 2009

Water shortages in Kirehe

This is a second extract from today's "New Times". You've often read my rantings about water shortages at Gitarama. In reality I have things very easy. Over in the East of Rwanda it is much drier, and the water shortages are more severe and seem to be getting worse each year. It's a combination of global warming and climate change, plus the fact that the Eastern province is expanding rapidly as people move in to farm the last uncultivated spaces left in the country. But their water problem is acute. We have two volunteers in Kirehe District; they have neither mains electricity nor tap water. All their water has to be bought by the jerry can, and they are caught up in the thick of the problems described below.

KIREHE — Water prices have sharply risen in Kirehe District as water scarcity continues to hit most parts of the country. Consequently, a 20-liter jerry can of water costs Rwf 300 up from Rwf20.

Christine Uwamahoro, who operates a hotel in the area, says she is spending Rwf 30,000 on water monthly to sustain her business. “We are in great distress. In fact people spend over ten hours walking in search of water everyday. The price of water has been hiked to 300 Francs per can of 20 litres. This translates to 15 Francs per litre, which is quite expensive", Uwamahoro said.

The New Times established that many residents in Nyakarambi Sector are experiencing the water problem because local water supplies are scarce, contaminated, or non-existent. Even though the residents attribute the scarcity of water to the current drought,some residents pointed out that within Kirehe and Nyakarambi in particular ,do not have access to clean water.

“During the rainy season, we go normally access water from the swamps because even available sources is never sufficient for us. We generally need a proper water system,” Richard Kayiranga, a peasant said.

Authorities however, say the district has finalised plans to provide safe water supplies in rural villages to arrest the situation.


alan.orth said...

We have water shortages in Kenya too!! It's terrible... they ration us in Nairobi. I don't foresee it getting any better any time soon :(


Dorothy said...

Well that is jolly. Due to arrive in Rwanda to work (VSO) in Nyakarambi on 29th August. See you there, thirstily.