A capacity building programme for Rwanda, as part of the second phase of Lake Victoria Water Initiative, was officially launched at a Stakeholders Workshop in Kigali on August 11th, 2011.

The capacity building program, to be implemented by UN-HABITAT will provide technical assistance and training to the East African Community and the five East African Countries to ensure the effective implementation and long term sustainability of the second phase of the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation, which is being funded by the African Development Bank.

The workshop was attended by representatives of the Government of Rwanda, the Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) of Rwanda, the Mayors and Vice-Mayors of the three towns in Rwanda that will be targeted by the Programme as well as UN-HABITAT and the East African Community.

In his remarks to the Opening Ceremony, the Chief of the Lake Victoria Section, Robert Goodwin, emphasized the importance of starting the capacity building activities as early as possible to ensure that the infrastructure facilities were well integrated into the long term development plans of the towns and that the necessary capacity was in place to effectively manage the facilities once they were completed. He committed UN-HABITAT to working closely with the Government, the Implementing Agency and the town councils to ensure the success of the program.

The Deputy Director -General of EWSA, James Sano, who opened the workshop on behalf of the Government of Rwanda, called on UN-HABITAT to give early attention to building the capacity of EWSA in utility management and operations and to assisting the towns in establishing efficient systems for the delivery of solid waste management and environmental sanitation services.

During the workshop, a number of priority capacity building activities were identified and focal points established to facilitate the work of UN-HABITAT in the participating towns. A work plan for the capacity building programme will now be prepared to enable UN-HABITAT to start the capacity building activities in October, 2011.