Press release: Rwanda hosts the Annual Review Meeting for WASH programs in Eastern & Southern Africa region
Kigali, Rwanda, 4 February 2014 – Delegates from Rwanda, Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, UNICEF and the Government of the Netherlands are meeting in Kigali from 04 to 05 February 2014 to review progress on the regional Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) project covering these four countries, which is completing in December 2014.
In Rwanda, the five- year project for “the acceleration of water supply, sanitation and hygiene towards reaching WASH related Millennium Development Goals” was launched in 2009. The WASH project is one of the ventures to support the Government of Rwanda’s ambitious target to provide safe water to 100% of its population by 2017. It targets four districts in the North-Western part of Rwanda, namely Burera, Musanze, Nyabihu and Rubavu Districts.
The Government of the Netherlands’ contributions for the regional WASH project have been key to improving WASH sector programmes in the four countries, including Rwanda and made a difference in improving the lives of children and women in these countries.
Over a four- year period, the WASH project has reached a majority of the targets: more than 500,000 people in the 4 districts have access to a potable water source, 127 schools and 27 health centres are connected to a potable water source, 139 schools and 29 health centres have access to improved gender friendly sanitation facilities and 200 schools and 1,400 villages have active hygiene clubs and committees which ensure sustainable hygiene practices and maintenance of WASH infrastructure.
“The provision of potable water supply systems and sanitation facilities and related services, supported by the Government of the Netherlands and UNICEF, helps Rwanda to keep on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and the Vision 2020 targets. Water supply and Sanitation are inextricably linked as part of the broader development process.” said Hon. Emma Françoise Isumbingabo, Minister of State in charge of Energy and Water in MININFRA.
In order to see the project in action, the delegation from the Government of the Netherlands along with officials of the Government of Rwanda and UNICEF will visit the project sites including an inauguration of a water supply system in Burera District from 6th to 7th February, 2014.
“The WASH project intervention integrates very well into the holistic child survival programs that UNICEF, in collaboration with the Government of Rwanda and partners, is supporting to reduce child mortality and morbidity in Rwanda” said Noala Skinner, UNICEF Representative. “The present achievements speak for themselves and this review is an opportune time to ensure the momentum is continued” she added.
The two-days review meeting offers an opportunity to review progress, lessons learned and challenges to improve the design and implementation of the next phase and future programs.
This project has brought positive changes in Burera District where water borne diseases has reduced tremendously, thanks to improved access to water and sanitation”, concluded Sembagare Samuel, District Mayor.
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