Addressing Water Sector Challenges in Rwanda: the Role of Young Water Professionals

Young water professionals in Rwanda are playing a crucial role in addressing the country's water challenges, such as limited storage infrastructure, high losses, and the impacts of climate change. With expertise in flood risk management, sanitation technologies, non-revenue water reduction, and workforce development, they contribute to finding sustainable solutions.

December 10, 2023

Water is a vital resource that sustains life, drives economic development, and maintains ecological balance. Despite Rwanda’s abundant rainfall, the water sector faces significant hurdles. Limited water storage infrastructure, high water losses, and the impacts of climate change necessitate sustainable solutions. As we approach the Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Kigali on 10-14 December 2023, here we shed light on the increasingly important role played by young water professionals in tackling Rwanda’s water sector challenges. Looking ahead, join us and explore how young water professionals are shaping the future of water management in Rwanda at the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition in Kigali, where we will come together to discuss and seek sustainable solutions for a water-wise future.

Water Challenges in Rwanda

Rwanda, known for its lush landscapes, has a complex water situation. The country is characterised as water-scarce, with only 670 m³ of water per capita per year. Furthermore, climate change exacerbates the situation, leading to frequent floods and landslides. In 2020 alone, devastating floods and landslides caused numerous fatalities and extensive damage to infrastructure and crops. To address these challenges, innovative approaches and a skilled workforce are essential.

The IWA Young Water Professionals (YWP) Rwanda Chapter, informally operating since 2012 and officially registered as an NGO in 2019, plays a pivotal role in addressing water sector challenges. Comprising talented young professionals with diverse skills, the chapter leverages state-of-the-art skills and expertise to find sustainable solutions. Our contributions span several areas:

  1. Flood Risk Management: Through advanced modelling and forecasting techniques, including artificial intelligence, we assess and predict flood risks. Emphasising nature-based solutions, we prioritise adaptation and mitigation measures for enhanced climate resilience.
  2. Sanitation Technologies: Building on our expertise in natural wastewater treatment systems, we develop innovative and effective sanitation technologies. Our aim is to improve sanitation access and promote environmentally friendly solutions.
  3. Non-Revenue Water Reduction: Addressing high water losses during the supply chain, we actively contribute to the development of state-of-the-art technologies that monitor and reduce non-revenue water. These efforts enhance water management efficiency.
  4. Workforce Development: Recognising the significance of a skilled workforce, we focus on capacity building initiatives. By equipping young professionals with essential knowledge and skills, we contribute to the professional development of Rwanda’s water sector workforce.

Looking forward to the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition

The YWP Rwanda Chapter eagerly anticipates active participation in the IWA Water and Development Congress & Exhibition. Our abstract on “Nature-based Flood Adaptation Measures in Informal Settlements” reflects our commitment to context-specific solutions and showcases our research-oriented projects. Additionally, we will actively contribute to the Emerging Water Leaders Forum, tailored for young water professionals. More information coming soon!

The Congress provides a unique platform for the YWP Rwanda Chapter to connect with other IWA YWP chapters worldwide. We will exchange knowledge, share experiences, and develop future strategies. This event offers valuable networking opportunities and the chance to establish strategic partnerships, further advancing water and development solutions in Rwanda. By fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and sustainable practices, we can all contribute significantly to sustainable development.

We hope that the Water and Development Congress & Exhibition, coupled with our initiatives, inspires water sector professionals worldwide and highlights the transformative power of water for development in Rwanda and beyond. Registration for the event is now open, find out more: