Rwanda joined the world to celebrate this year’s world water day last Friday, calling for the protection of water to sustain energy production. The ceremony was marked by discussions on how to improve rainwater harvesting and water permit systems.
Addressing participants, Minister of Natural Resources, Stanislas Kamanzi said that water and energy are indeed closely interlinked and interdependent especially when it comes to exploitation. “We need enough water resources for energy generation in Rwanda.”
Minister Kamanzi highlighted that most of problems related to water and energy are basically connected and cannot be addressed in isolation. “To get energy we need, Rwanda has embarked on protecting water catchments, which are critical for energy production and water supply. This is in line with Rwanda’s second poverty reduction and development strategy.”
Rainwater-harvesting systems will increase access to clean water for domestic use and help in controlling storm water runoff and its negative impacts such as soil erosion on steep slopes and flooding on flat landscapes.
According to Ms. Noala Skinner, the UNICEF Representative and acting UN Resident Coordinator, there is need to strengthen policy and regulatory framework in order to promote energy and water conservation.
She explained the importance of promoting affordable energy efficiency and alternate technologies and solutions that offer combined water and energy to the poor.
Rwanda also put in place water permit system to control water use in Rwanda, the system is meant to regulate the allocation of the available water resources to different users on the basis of comprehensive and integrated plans and optimum allocation principles that incorporate efficiency of use, equity of access and sustainability of the resource.
The World Water Day is held every year on 22nd March to highlight the importance of freshwater and sustainable management of freshwater resources