A sigh of relief can be heard across Kigali. Friends of ours, along with many, have been watching their water tanks deplete over the summer dry season. Another few days and things will start to get difficult.
Many houses in the suburbs of Kigali are now connected to the mains supply which has been laid in the past few years. Expectations of continuous running water have to be held in check though. The water runs some days. Most days it doesn't.
Mains water is being extended beyond the suburbs but not as far as has been claimed. It seems that the water company has found itself in hotter water than runs through its pipes when it was dicovered that one district, supposedly connected, in fact wasn't. A district along the banks of the Nyaburongo River should have been supplied with mains water but for some reason had not made it onto the pipe-digging schedule. Tragedy struck when one of the locals, collecting water from the river, was taken by a crocodile. The water company has been ordered to pay compensation to the local people.
Happily, the end of the drought is in sight. These past couple of weeks have seen thick cumulus clouds rolling over Rwanda, frustratingly only to roll on to somewhere else. The other day was different. The clouds didn't drift in gradually. Within ten minutes a hot and dry afternoon was turned into a grey deluge that filled the air with water and had gutters overflowing.
So our friends were very happy to have gone to bed with more water in their tank, harvested from the roof, than when they woke up that morning. Ironically, there still isn't water in the mains.