Water is both an economic and social good, and the recommended minimum objective unit of water supply rate is 20liters per day in rural areas, and this is an indication on how water is very important in reserving human life. In allocating water resources, priority must be given to the social functions of water in society. This means that, domestic uses of water shall be accorded priority in allocation decisions, particularly in times of shortage .Additionally, there should be equity in allocation of water to rural and urban areas and those in lower and lower wealthy quintiles. Although there should be full cost recovery by entities providing water supplies, there should be targeted subsidies to meet the basic needs of the most disadvantaged communities. It is also imperative to involve water users and other stake holders in making all decision related to water resources managements and allocation. This is crucial to achieve best and sustainable results in water resource management.
According to the representative of the Ministry of Infrastructure in this conference, the main objective of National Water and Sanitation Policy is to ensure sustainable and affordable access to safe water supply, sanitation and waste management services for all Rwandans, as a contribution to poverty reduction, public health, economic development and environmental protection.
The Ministry of Infrastructure set up the specific objectives of National Policy and Strategy for water supply, that is to say: Raising rural water supply coverage to 85% by 2017 and 100% by 2020 through decentralization (7 years Government program); Ensuring sustainable functionality by developing effective management structures and well-regulated public-private partnership (PPP) arrangements; Ensuring safe, reliable and affordable urban water supply services for all(100%services coverage by 2017) while strengthening the financial viability of the utility.
The Ministry also embarks on raising house hold sanitation coverage to 65%, and promoting hygiene behavior change through its stake holder EWSA. Implementation of improved sanitation for Infrastructures such as schools, health facilities, and other public institutions and locations.
Enhancement of water management to mitigate impacts on priorities, Infrastructure, human health and the environment, together with implementation of integrated solid waste management in ways that are protective to human health and the environment. This will lead also to the development of the sector’s institutional and capacity building frame work.
The Ministry of Infrastructure focuses on Projects implementation (priority projects to achieve 100% by 2017), and it is estimated that by December 2012, the ongoing projects will increase access to safe drinking water to 811,965 people, equivalent to 7.3%.
It ensures the preparation of National water supply Master plan National wide, construction and upgrading of Water treatment plants (WTP) and extension of water network. The Ministry also is putting much emphasis on construction of water supply schemes in 17 new emerging towns in western, southern, northern, and eastern provinces. Construction of water supply schemes also in 7 secondary towns in the same provinces is also in place.
Construction of 5,143km of new water supply schemes to supply IMIDUGUDU in rural areas in all districts, and rehabilitation of 2,202km of existing nonfunctional water supply schemes.
Finally, the Ministry intervened in extending electricity grid to water pumping stations that are currently using diesel fuel and cluster water supply schemes to increase economies of scale and low cross subsidies between systems with high and low production cost.