This initiative aims to address the shortage of water and electricity in the city of Goma, which is home to around two million people. It involves various projects, including water supply to households and around 300 refugee camps, particularly in areas like Kyeshero and the Bushagara refugee camp.
Victor Mutaganzwa, a leader from Rwanda’s Energy Group (REG) in the Rubavu District, has expressed that Rwanda has the necessary expertise and resources to assist Goma, and Congo has requested this assistance to improve living conditions.
Virunga Energies, a Rwandan company operating in the Virunga National Park, also acknowledges the issue and emphasizes the importance of finding a solution to provide water to the residents of Goma.
The water situation in Goma is critical due to high demand, especially after volcanic eruptions that require significant water for fire suppression.
Edson Nsabimana, a representative from the Water and Sanitation Corporation (Wasac) in the Rubavu District, mentioned that the people of Goma are willing to purchase water from Rwanda and are ready to pay for the service, whether they need 20 meters or 100 meters of water.
Nsabimana also clarified that the Congolese residents would need to pay for the water they receive, as it would not be provided for free, and a payment arrangement would need to be established.
Access to clean water is crucial for various aspects of life, including drinking and sanitation, and this initiative has the potential to greatly benefit the people of Goma and improve relations between the two neighboring countries.
Since 2021, Rwanda has been supplying water to Goma, which has been seen as a positive development in terms of cross-border cooperation. However, the sustainability of this project may face challenges due to various factors, including the political situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and its interactions with rebel groups like M23.
In 2021, Rwanda constructed an 11-kilometer water pipeline to provide Goma with water regularly, which could be used in times of need, subject to the interests of the Congolese government and water supply services in Goma.
This situation highlights the complexities and challenges of providing essential services like water across international borders, particularly in regions with complex political dynamics and conflicts.