The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) is supporting the Karenge Drinking Water Supply Expansion Project in Rwanda's Eastern Province with a loan of $21 million. This funding will help to increase the capacity of the Karenge drinking water plant to 48,000 m3 per day.
Following expansion works in 1985 and 2008, which respectively increased the capacity of the Karenge drinking water treatment plant to 7,200 m3 and 15,000 m3 per day, compared with 3,840 m3 when it was commissioned in 1975, the plant will be expanded again. The Rwandan government now wants to increase this capacity to 48,000 m3 per day to meet the drinking water needs of all the inhabitants of the Rwandan capital, Kigali, and the surrounding areas of the Rwamagana district until 2050.
The $164.3 million project is being co-financed by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) through a $21 million loan granted to the Rwandan government on 9 November 2023. Ofid’s Director General, Abdulhamid Alkhalifa, and Rwanda’s Minister of State for Public Investment and Resource Mobilisation, Jeanine Munyeshuli, signed and exchanged initials on the sidelines of the Saudi-Arab-African Economic Conference held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on the same date.
The remaining $143.4 million is being provided by the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD), the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the Export-Import Bank of Hungary (Exim Hungary).
The drinking water plant to be back in service in 2024
At present, the Karenge drinking water plant on the banks of Lake Mugesera in the Rwamagana district, some 50 km south-east of Kigali, supplies 15,000 m3 of water a day, of which 12,000 m3 is sent to Kigali and 3,000 m3 is distributed to the people of the Rwamagana district.
According to the Rwandan Water and Sanitation Company (WASAC), which is overseeing the drinking water project, the expansion of the Karenge plant’s capacity to 48,000 m3 per day will involve rehabilitating the intake and raw water transport pipes, relocating the pumping station and improving the capacity of the pumps and motors, and extending the drinking water transport and distribution network. The project also includes the construction of new water intake pumps and drinking water storage tanks, as well as the laying of 33 km of new pipes.
The Rwandan authorities have announced that the Karenge drinking water plant will be back in service by 2024.