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close this bookICRC Activities in Rwanda: 1993 - 6 April 2000 (International Committee of the Red Cross , 230 p.)
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View the documentICRC News 00/12 - 6 April 2000

ICRC NEWS N° 20/18 May 1994

RWANDA

A new threat: shortage of drinking water

Continued fighting between government troops and forces of the Rwanda Patriotic Front has caused more population movements towards the centre of the country. Several hundred thousand people are now massed near the town of Gitarama, swelling the ranks of all the other displaced people throughout Rwanda.

The ICRC is facing a host of urgent needs: its Am priority is to try to protect the lives of those who have fled to escape the carnage, but it must also care for the wounded and sick and organize food distributions. To make matters worse, there is now a critical shortage of drinking water. Two ICRC sanitary engineers are trying to put the water treatment plants in Kigali and Kabgayi back into service, and two more will go next week to Butare, Gisenyi and Cyangugu. Ten tonnes of aluminium sulfate, a vital water treatment chemical, have been flown to Kigali from Kenya and another five tonnes to Burundi for use in Kabgayi, south of Gitarama. A reserve stock of 50 tonnes is being kept in Kenya. On 16 May a food convoy of cereals sent by the ICRC delegation in Kigali arrived at the stadium in Gitarama, where several thousand people have taken refuge. A large-scale food distribution is due to begin in the centre and east of the country in the next few days. An ICRC surgical team is continuing to treat hundreds of wounded people at the Kabgayi complex. The ICRC is planning to transfer to Kabgayi some of the overflow from the central hospital in Kigali, which has a capacity of 400 patients and has now admitted 1,500.

Further information: Giorgio Nembrini, ICRC Geneva
Tel. ++41 22 730 2352