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Area: 5888268 km2
Brazil; Peru; Suriname; France; Colombia; Guyana; Bolivia; Venezuela; Ecuador
Santa Cruz; Manaus; La Paz
HydroBasin Level:
Baseline Water Stress:
Water Quality Stress:
Sanitation Access Stress:
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Quick Info

2.5 out of 5
WWF Country Risk Score
132 out of 248 Countries
WWF Country Rank
Total Organizations: 14
Total Projects: 12
Priority SDGs: Sustainable Agriculture (SDG 2.4)
Increase Access to Water, Sanitation, Hygiene (SDG 6.1 & 6.2)
Water Quality (SDG 6.3)
Water Use Efficiency (SDG 6.4)
Integrated Water Resource Management (SDG 6.5)
International Cooperation and Capacity Building (SDG 6.a)
Sustainable Production (SDG 12.4)
Climate Resilience and Adaptation (SDG 13.1)
Priority Regions: Lake VIctoria
Priority Industries: Apparel
Biotech, health care & pharma
Food, beverage & agriculture
Power generation
Organization Types:
NGO / Civil Society
Individual / Sole Proprietor
International Organization
Profile Completion: 82%

Water-Related Challenge Costs

Total annual estimated cost to address all water-related challenges: $661,516,640.00

Share of total annual estimated cost to address each individual challenge (2015 $USD):

  • Access to Drinking Water: $221,685,621.00 - [34%]
  • Access to Sanitation: $306,966,033.00 - [46%]
  • Industrial Pollution: $19,963,555.00 - [3%]
  • Agricultural Pollution: $364,415.00 - [0%]
  • Water Scarcity: $2,284,243.00 - [0%]
  • Water Management: $110,252,773.00 - [17%]

For more about this data, see information on WRI’s Achieving Abundance dataset here.

Water Challenges

As reported by organizations on the Hub.

Local Water Resource Governance
Upstream Water Issues
Water Pricing

Country Overview

1.1.1.WATER RESOURCES Rwanda’s drainage system is abundant and dense. There are two major river basins and the watershed line is the “Congo-Nile”. The Upper Nile basin, which covers 76 per cent of the country, catches 90 per cent of the available water through the Nyabarongo and the Akagera, the main tributaries of Lake Victoria and source of the White Nile. The Akagera basin contributes water to the Nile. The Congo-Nile basin covers the remaining 24 per cent of the country and attracts 10 per cent of the country’s waters from Lake Kivu to Lake Tanganyika. Water covers about 8 per cent of Rwanda (211km²). Lakes cover 1281.9km², Lake Kivu making up 80 per cent of this. Rivers and swamps cover 72.6km². The marsh feeds most lakes and rivers. The surface water of lakes and rivers in Rwanda is generally charged with silt and sediment due to erosion. The total area of wetlands in the country is estimated at about 1,650km², made up of 530km² of primary network, which includes large swamps that line the major rivers (Mwogo, Nyabarongo, Akanyaru and Akagera) and 1,120km² of lower river systems, consisting of small and medium marsh and shallows. Apart from the Akagera Park, none of the marsh is protected. However, the Ramsar Convention described five marshes as being of crucial importance for biodiversity protection. Groundwater is still unexplored, except for some holes drilled by projects and a limited inventory cataloguing 22,000 groundwater sources in the country. However, erosion of very important watersheds is not conducive to normal recharge of groundwater.

1.1.2.WATER USE In 2000, estimated total water withdrawal was 1.5 million km3. Agriculture used 68 per cent of this, the domestic sector used 24 per cent and industry only 8 per cent.

1.2.WATER QUALITY, ECOSYSTEMS AND HUMAN HEALTH Major environmental problems in Rwanda include: deforestation resulting from uncontrolled logging of trees for fuel; overgrazing; soil exhaustion; soil erosion; and widespread poaching. Water pollution is uncommon because of the low level of industrial activity and employment of agricultural inputs. However, microbiological pollution due to large concentrations of people is often observed. Water hyacinths choke some lakes and streams, including lakes Victoria and Cyohoha Rwero and rivers Nyabarongo and Akagera. Deforestation, particularly in upper watersheds, and unplanned land occupation have resulted in serious erosion problems, degrading millions of square kilometres. The latter has a significant impact on water flows downstream, causing deteriorating water quality of rivers, lakes and marshes due to sedimentation and pollution from the source. The main environmental risk is drainage which, if too deep, tends to cause lasting or irreversible marsh damage.

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Organizations in Rwanda

Contribute to the protection of environment and natural resources and build social economic resilience of communities through ecosystem-based adaption actions. Learn More

Our mission is to provide complete water development services and affordable products, creating access to clean water. This includes a wide assortment of essential, sustainable, life-enhancing products and services to benefit people living in crisis. Our clients are mostly NGO's … Learn More

To promote increased access to WASH (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene) and renewable energy as well as their sustainable management while improving the livelihood and life skills knowledge in vulnerable communities in Rwanda. Learn More

Easing the burden on safe water through partnerships and climate smart technologies. Learn More

HYDROC is an association of independent consultants, -scientists and -engineers, providing water-related services through a network of national and international experts. Our concept uses the synergies of our combined expertise for the successful implementation of a variety of projects. Our … Learn More

International Transformation Foundation (ITF) is a youth-led non-profit organization providing youth educational and self-development programs encompassing leadership and entrepreneurship to harness creativity for a youth system that provide jobs, offers security, opens opportunities to grow and contributes to the development … Learn More

To create decent jobs through Agriculture and Rural development across Africa. Learn More

Freshwater ecosystem protection: Restore degraded freshwater ecosystems Promote the use of water resources in a sustainable way Protect freshwater sources from pollution and overexploitation Climate change adaptation: Promote sustainable agricultural practices that can withstand climate change Help rural communities to … Learn More

Promote research and innovative solutions leading to access to drinking water and sanitationto protect public health. Learn More

RWANDANS4WATER designs and implements environmentally friendly projects and programs in East Africa. Our portfolio includes clean energy, water, sanitation, hygiene, and various climate change mitigation efforts. Learn More

Our focus is on designing, manufacturing and supplying sanitation solutions that impact positively on the enviornment and thereby contributing to SDG 6 directly, but indirectly on SDG 3. Our toilet products are designed to operate without water for flushing, and … Learn More

Our organization is dedicated to improving the quality of life for local communities in Rwanda by ensuring access to safe and clean water. We are committed to eradicating waterborne diseases and environmental degradation caused by improper water usage. Our mission … Learn More

Water For People exists to promote the development of high-quality drinking water and sanitation services, accessible to all, and sustained by strong communities, businesses, and governments. OUR VISION A world where every person has access to reliable and safe water … Learn More

WaterStep responds to critical needs for safe water by evaluating and implementing solutions and teaching people to use those tools. WaterStep saves lives with safe water by empowering communities to take care of their own long-term water needs. We believe … Learn More

Projects in Rwanda

Since 2016 the Toilet Board Coalition’s accelerator program has been supporting entrepreneurs with bespoke mentorship, partnership and the visibility to scale their sanitation economy businesses. More than toilets alone, we look for commercially viable businesses across the sanitation economies – … Learn More

Inspired by personal experience growing up in communities, where school-going children walk long distances to secure water for their families before/ after going to school causing absenteeism resulting to school drop-outs. In 2013 we worked on research project about sustainable … Learn More

We are currently installing a water treatment system on the grounds of Esepan Secondary School. Gravity and sunlight will power the water treatment system to provide clean drinking water for the students, staff, and community at large.Project Results375 school children … Learn More

Project WET is currently active in more than 75 countries around the world through a network of partner organizations that range from small NGOs to major international corporations and organizations. We only go where we’re invited! We work with our … Learn More

The Borehole project is a micro project in Rwanda, providing a source of clean drinking water to a local community.The project is based around the supply of clean water to local communities in Rwanda through the rehabilitation of community boreholes. … Learn More

The project objectives were to support the establishment of small-scale irrigation on 10 ha and the adoption of improved cookstoves for 2000 households complemented by capacity building for both community and APEFA staff, now the project progress is at 81.6 … Learn More

Starbucks and Conservation International began an assessment of the water component of the Coffee and Farmer Equity (C.A.F.E.) Practices program in 2008, focused on 2 stages in the coffee value chain: cultivating, growing and harvesting coffee using methods that avoid … Learn More

BRALIRWA, a Heineken subsidiary, partnered with local government authorities in the Rubavu district to support the planting of over 10,300 trees on Rubona Hill – a place that is susceptible to major environmental threats due to heavy landslides and soil … Learn More

Isuku Iwacu will improve access to and encourage correct, consistent use of household sanitation and hygiene facilities in order to decrease childhood stunting, with an emphasis on reaching the lowest poverty quintile and complementing the activities undertaken by Gikuriro and … Learn More

WaterAid is an international NGO focused exclusively on ensuring equitable access to safe water, sanitation and hygiene education (WASH) for the world’s poorest communities. Formed in 1981 we have been working in water, sanitation and hygiene for over 30 years. … Learn More

In Rwanda, 53% of the rural population have access to basic water services and 70% have access to basic sanitation. In urban settings, 82% of the population have access to basic or safely managed water services and 52% have access … Learn More

With community support, we will build a water treatment system that will provide safe drinking water for almost 8000 residents of Shyira. The system uses local materials to create a water treatment system powered by sunlight and gravity.Project Results8000 residents … Learn More

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