Families defy measures to fetch water in Kigali, upcountry

Thursday April 2 2020


Frustrated households now have to break the rules under the current lockdown to search and fetch water from relatively long distances. PHOTO | FILE 

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Several households in Kigali and rural areas are facing water shortages raising the risks of failing to meet the basic hygiene standards required to minimise spread of coronavirus.

Frustrated households now have to break the measures the government has put in place to search and fetch water from relatively long distances. This comes at a time when there is increased call for vigilance to maintain basic sanitation and hygiene to limit the spread of coronavirus.

Members of the affected households are also emerging as the group that are at high risk of contaminating the virus since they have to regularly violate the stay-at-home government order to fetch water mostly at communal tap where it takes queuing.

This is the case for residents of Nyabyondo Village, an upcoming urban centre in Shyorongi Sector of Rulindo District that has been grappling with water access problems for the past two weeks after heavy rains destroyed supply networks.

Like several Kigali City suburbs currently on water rationing, households can only turn to communal tap, which in most instances opens for a few morning and evening hours.

According to suppliers, water consumption rates that rose with calls for adherence to proper hygiene to limit the spread of coronavirus infections has overwhelmed communal taps.


Access to clean water has become a concern after the government imposed more restrictive measures vis-à-vis social distancing and the recently decide nationwide lockdown measures.

“It is impossible for many here to stay home when the only way to get water is going to the communal tap.

We want the network fixed as soon as possible rest we risk catching the virus through these crowds,” said Celine Mukamana, one of the affected residents.

A team of local authorities and security organs had on Monday evening dispersed everyone at communal water taps in Rulindo for violating the lockdown measures.