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Rwanda, 22 March 2017: Launch of national water supply and sanitation policies and strategies on the occasion of World Water Day

KIGALI, Rwanda, 22 March 2017 – The Ministry of Infrastructure with water and sanitation stakeholders/partners launch the new Water and Sanitation Sector Policies and Strategies on the occasion of the World Water Day 2017. These policies and strategies were approved by the Cabinet of Rwanda on 9 December 2016 and aim to ensure sustainable, equitable, reliable and affordable access to water and sanitation services to all Rwandans, as a contribution to improving public health and socio-economic development.

Rwanda has made remarkable progress in increasing access to improved water and sanitation to a large number of the population since early nineties. The coverage of improved water supply and sanitation in Rwanda is 85 per cent and 83 per cent respectively, as per EICV4, 2013/2014. The importance of adequate water supply and sanitation services as a driver for social and economic development, poverty reduction and public health is fully acknowledged in Rwanda’s flagship policy documents and national goals including Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS)-II and Vision 2020.

The water and sanitation sector context has changed considerably since the adoption of the old 2010 National Policy and Strategy for Water Supply and Sanitation Services and hence the need for new sector policies and strategies.

“These new policies and strategies were formulated to respond to the key emerging issues including: the need to achieve EDPRS II and Vision 2020 targets of universal access to clean water and sanitation services; the need to align and work towards Sustainable Development Goals (Goal 6) of ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all; decentralization of water and sanitation services; sector financing mechanisms; improved performance of public-private sector arrangements; sustainability and further sector harmonization towards a sector-wide approach,” said Hon. Germaine Kamayirese, Minister of State in charge of Energy and Water. She added that the Government of Rwanda has committed itself to reaching the ambitious targets in water supply and sanitation: to attain 100 per cent service coverage by 2020 as well as achieving progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Ted Maly, UNICEF Representative congratulated the Government on the formulation of comprehensive sector policies and strategies through a consultative process. “The new sector policies and strategies will greatly contribute to meeting Sustainable Development Goal 6 that envisions universal, sustainable, and equitable access to safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as the elimination of open defecation by 2030,” he said. Mr. Maly also reiterated UNICEF’s commitment to support the Government of Rwanda in the implementation of these policies and strategies.

These new policies and strategies present an analysis of the major sector challenges for urban and rural areas. They also provide direction for addressing these challenges, as well as implementation strategies, roles and responsibilities, financial requirements, targets and monitoring mechanisms, including targets and performance indicators.

The new water and sanitation policies and strategies are a result of a comprehensive sector analysis, combined with a discussion and stakeholder consultation process led by a dedicated task force of ministries and sector partners.

The Ministry of Infrastructure, in consultation with key Ministries and sector partners, plans to continuously disseminate the new policies and strategies.

 

 
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