Japan has signed Rwanda US$8.4M (Rwf5.8b) to finance a project of supplying water in rural areas. More than 131,000 people are expected to have access to safe drinking water once the project is completed.

The funds channeled through the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), will finance construction of piped water supply system, and training of technicians.

Three districts in the Eastern Province will benefit from this grant; Rukira Sector in Ngoma District, Murama Sector in Kayonza District and Remera Sector in Gatsibo District.

Finance Minister, Claver Gatete, said the project will help people in those districts to access clean water and relieve the residents from traveling long distances in search of clean water.

Japan Ambassador to Rwanda, Kazuya OGAWA, said the grant is the third under the Rural Water Supply Project, in the Eastern Province.

The first phase, in Ngoma, Kayonza and Rwamagana districts, completed in March, 2008, cost US$ 6.1M. The second phase in Ngoma and Kirehe districts was completed in July, 2013 at US$16M.

These projects are part of Rwanda’s efforts of increasing access to safe water to the rural areas, under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS). About 30% of Rwanda has no access to clean water.

Meanwhile, Japan has granted Rwanda about Rwf17b over the last two years, up from Rwf3.4b in in the precceding year.