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Piped water and clean toilets for half a million Rwandans by 2013

Dutch Government provides generous funding

Rubavu, Rwanda, 20 March 2009 - To mark the celebration of World Water Day, the Government of Rwanda officially inaugurated the MIZINGO water supply system in the Western Province of the country. This system will provide improved water and sanitation facilities to over one hundred thousand men, women and children and has been made possible through the support of Aqua Rwanda and Pure Water in Nature (a Dutch NGO) under the management of AquaVirunga.

“With partnerships such as this one, brokered by UNICEF, piped water will become an attainable dream for half a million Rwandans by 2013,” said H.E. Albert Butare, the State's Minister for Infrastructure, in charge of Water and Energy. “Thanks to generous funding by both UNICEF and the Dutch Government of over USD 20 million for the next five years, the Government of Rwanda is closer to achieving its Vision 2020 and the Millennium Development Goals for increased access to water and sanitation,” he added.

Eighty percent of all diseases that affect Rwanda’s population are waterborne. The health impact of inadequate water and sanitation means an increased financial burden on the state and the individual, and also translates into potential lost income from tourism and exports.

Increasing access to water and sanitation is a national priority and today’s official inauguration ceremony marks the start of greater efforts by UNICEF to support the Government of Rwanda - with Dutch and Japanese funding - to increase national and community level capacity in water and sanitation management.

“We look forward to continuing our work with communities, local government, ministries, the private sector and international development partners, including the World Bank and SNV to increase resources for sanitation and hygiene,” said Dr. Joseph Foumbi, UNICEF’s Representative to Rwanda. “And also bring to national scale appropriate technologies for excreta management, rainwater harvesting and household water treatment and safe storage,” he added.

Dutch funding will be used to upgrade, and where necessary, construct water and sanitation facilities for communities, 200 primary schools and 50 health centres in districts of Rubavu, Musanze, Nyabihu and Burera.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:
Cyriaque Ngoboka, Communication Specialist, Tel: + 250 788 30 52 21, Email: cngoboka@unicef.org





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