Rwanda endeavors to manage and provide water in adequate quantity and quality for all social and economic needs. Wastewater from industrial activities continues to be a major source of water pollution in Rwanda. In this respect, various measures have been put in place to ensure high water quality.
Congo and Nile basins
Pollution major source
Dissolved Oxygen, E-coli, turbidity
Pollution impact on health
2,306 death in 2016
Overall, the latest nationwide water quality monitoring study indicates that for all 36 waters (30 open water bodies, rivers and lakes; and six groundwater bodies) monitored in 2018/19, the proportion of water bodies with good ambient water quality reached an index of 85 percent. However, considering the five core parameters (dissolved oxygen, electrical conductivity, dissolved inorganic nitrates, dissolved inorganic phosphate, and pH), in addition to turbidity, TSS and E.coli, which are alarming for the case of Rwanda, the percentage of water bodies with ambient water quality only reaches 18.75 percent.
This is due to the fact that certain water quality parameters such as dissolved inorganic nitrogen, dissolved inorganic phosphorus, electrical conductivity, hydrogen potential (pH), are generally within the acceptable range nationwide while dissolved oxygen (DO), Escherichia coli (E. coli), and turbidity are almost always outside the acceptable range for natural potable water. The main cause is sedimentation and siltation of water bodies mainly from soil erosion and microbiological contamination linked to poor sanitation systems and practices.
Rwanda has made progress in improving water quality and access to water and sanitation in rural and urban areas. The following are some examples of government interventions and plans to improve water quality