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Kigali Water Project

$9.97 million
Environmental and Social Review Summary

This Environmental and Social Review Summary (ESRS) is prepared by MIGA staff and disclosed prior to the date on which MIGA’s Board of Directors considers the proposed issuance of a Contract of Guarantee. Its purpose is to enhance the transparency of MIGA’s activities. This document should not be construed as presuming the outcome of the decision by MIGA’s Board of Directors. Board dates are estimates only.

Any documentation that is attached to this ESRS has been prepared by the project sponsor, and authorization has been given for public release. MIGA has reviewed the attached documentation as provided by the applicant, and considers it of adequate quality to be released to the public, but does not endorse the content.

Metito Utilities Limited (MUL) part of Metito group (Metito) has acquired a MIGA guarantee for its investment into Kigali Water Limited (KWL or Company). KWL is a wholly owned subsidiary of MUL. KWL is responsible for the construction, operation and maintenance of a 40,000 m3/day greenfield water treatment plant and supporting infrastructure (well field and two pumping stations) located in Kanzenze, in the Southeastern part of Kigali (the Project). Associated facilities to the Project include an additional pumping station, 14.5 km of pipelines, three new reservoirs (Gahanga, Kagarama /Nyanza and Bugesera) and telemetry outstations all of which will be constructed and operated by the Water and Sanitation Corporation (WASAC). The Project will provide 40,000 m3/day of potable water to the residents of Rwanda’s capital city to serve domestic, commercial and industrial end users. Potable water will be sold to WASAC under the terms of a 25-year plus 2.5-years for construction under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Agreement. An overview of the different Project components is provided below.


Water Treatment Plant (WTP):  the water treatment plant will have a production capacity of 40,000 m3/day. The design of all water pressure pipelines within the water treatment plant will conform to the BS EN 805:2000 water supply requirements, which are consistent with the WHO Guidelines for drinking water. The PPP Agreement sets out in detail the specific drinking water quality requirements as well as other performance criteria. The WTP will be located approximately 1 km South of the well field. This is done to elevate the WTP works out of the floodplain to reduce the likelihood of flooding. The site is situated downstream of certain uncontrolled and untreated discharges of industrial and domestic waste originating from Kigali city, the WTP is expected to treat related pathogens originating from these discharges (see section on PS 3 for more details).  The WTP is designed to minimize operational risk of process failure, and has a comprehensive continuous monitoring system and associated alarms for water quantity, water quality is monitored thorough testing in the lab.


Well field: the well field starts just East of the existing Kanzenze bridge and is expected to continue along the South bank of the river for approximately 1 km. Investigations of the hydrogeology at Kanzenze started in 1992. The location was identified as a potential site for the installation of water supply wells for Kigali. The feasibility study concludes that by locating the wells close to the river, reasonable well yields could be obtained from the more permeable sand horizons. Furthermore, in contrast to abstraction directly from the river, if wells are designed correctly, the well water should be relatively low in suspended sediment. For the abstraction of raw water from the Nyabarongo River, KWL will develop and install approximately 20 new wells, in addition to the 12 existing test wells. The wells shall be the sole source of raw water for the Project. Out of the approximately 32 wells to be developed, 6 wells are continuously on standby to ensure that the water quantity requirements under the PPP Agreement are met. Well testing has been undertaken and the data obtained indicates that the yield for all the existing wells averages between 60 to 66 m3/hour. However, the exact number of wells and standby wells will be known only when well field is finalized, and exact production assessed.


Pumping stations: The Kanzenze well field is located at approximately 1,340 meters above sea level. In order to supply water northwards into the new Gahanga and Kagarama /Nyanza reservoirs at an elevation of 1,600 m and Southwards to the Bugesera reservoir (at 1,526 m) pumping stations will be required. KWL will own and operate two pumping stations. WASAC will own and operate the third pumping station, considered an associated facility to the Project.


Associated infrastructure: In addition to the pumping stations, approximately 14.5 km of pipelines and storage reservoirs (2 tanks at Bugasera site, 2 tanks at Gahanga site and 3 tanks at Kagarama/Nyanza site) are required, these are collectively known as forwarding infrastructure to send the treated water from the WTP to the distribution network.  WASAC will be responsible for construction, operations and maintenance of the forwarding infrastructure, considered associated facilities to the Project. The forwarding infrastructure will be financed with proceeds from the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) “Sustainable Water Supply and Sanitation Program”[1] under their public financing window and AfDB’s environmental and social standards will apply.


Telemetry system: WASAC will also be responsible for installing three telemetry outstations after each reservoir to transmit selected key signals to WASAC’s central control and monitoring station. Quality monitoring indicators under the control of KWL (at the connection point within the WTP) shall meet accuracy requirements: chlorine, turbidity and pH levels. The telemetry outstations are also considered associated facilities to the Project.

This is a Category B Project according to MIGA’s Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability (2013) because the environmental and social (E&S) risks and impacts associated with the Project are limited in number and can be minimized, avoided or mitigated by adhering to generally recognized performance standards, guidelines, or design criteria. Key potential E&S issues arising from the Project include degradation and loss of flora and potential habitat destruction or fragmentation as a result of permanent vegetation clearing during the construction phase, potential impacts to economic livelihoods from activities related to land acquisition for the right of way along the pipeline alignment, and variation of the groundwater table due to increased extraction of the resource. Other expected potential E&S impacts include those typically related to construction activities such as air, water, groundwater, and soil contamination, increased noise and vibration, inadequate solid and liquid waste management, increased incidents related to community and occupational health and safety, and the creation of temporary construction jobs.

While all Performance Standards (PS) are applicable to this Project, based on available current information reviewed it indicates that the Project will have impacts which must be managed in a manner consistent with the following PS:

  • PS1:  Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts
  • PS2:  Labor and Working Conditions
  • PS3:  Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention
  • PS4:  Community Health, Safety and Security
  • PS5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement
  • PS6: Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Management of Living Natural Resource


PS5 is triggered due to the potential for associated facilities to the Project to temporarily impact the livelihood of affected parties along the right of way. Given that such facilities will be built and managed by WASAC, KWL’s leverage over the management of the infrastructure and impacts associated with it is limited. Therefore, applicability of PS5 by KWL is limited to level of control and influence over the Government of Rwanda’s (GoR) management and compensation process.


No “indigenous people”, as defined by PS7 (Indigenous Peoples), have been identified in the Project area (or near the Project area), and therefore PS7 is not applicable to this Project. The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) did not reveal cultural heritage, therefore PS8 on Cultural Heritage is not applicable. However, the Project has developed a chance finds procedure in case of the identification of cultural/archeological resources in the area.

The World Bank Group (WBG) General Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Guidelines and industry sector EHS Guidelines for Water and Sanitation apply to the Project.

Since the Project inception, MIGA relied on IFC’s E&S due diligence, which included a visit to the Project on July 2015 and review of Project documentation. MIGA later complemented IFC’s due diligence by carrying out an additional site visit on June – July 2017, which included meetings with representatives from KWL, WASAC, and the Rwanda Development Board. MIGA’s due diligence also included visiting the proposed Project site, the water distribution pipeline route, and the sites for the three reservoirs. MIGA also reviewed available information including the original ESIA and subsequent updates, the Environmental and Social Due Diligence report prepared by the Lenders Technical Advisor, and Metito’s Sustainability Reports and Quality, Health, Safety and Environment Policy (QHSE). MIGA continues to have regular exchanges with the independent E&S consultant on behalf of MUL.

PS1:  Assessment and Management of Environmental and Social Risks and Impacts

An ESIA and corresponding Environmental Social Management Plan (ESMP) were prepared by Bureau for Environmental and Social Studies (BESST) to assess the potential impacts of the Project activities and proposed mitigation measures to avoid, minimize and/control the identified risks throughout the lifespan (construction, operation and decommissioning) of the Project. The ESMP provides a framework for implementation of mitigation measures as needed throughout the life of the Project, including specific references to construction and operational phases. The ESIA and ESMP were updated to include among others additional environmental and social baseline data, and a cumulative impacts assessment for biodiversity and wetlands present on the Project area.


Metito Group has an integrated ESMS system which is certified under ISO 9001/14001/18001 integrated Management System (IMS). IFC has been a shareholder of Metito group since 2007 and IFC’s E&S requirements were incorporated into the IMS as a condition of IFC’s first investment and according to IFC have been effectively operationalized. Metito also has a corporate QHSE Manager and has either an IMS Coordinator or QHSE representative at each subsidiary. The QHSE Manager ensures oversight of E&S matters at the group level and its subsidiaries and reports to the group’s management on a regular basis. Metito has an overarching QHSE Policy which lays out its E&S objectives and guides efforts to achieve satisfactory E&S performance. KWL has developed an Environmental and Social Management System (ESMS) in line with Metito’s existing policies and procedures taking into account the Rwanda country context.


KWL has Contracted BESST Ltd to handle Project related E&S considerations. KWL has also designated an individual on the board of the company to ensure compliance with group policies, procedures and regulatory requirements, including MIGA Performance Standards and applicable World Bank Group EHS guidelines. Additionally, KWL has also hired at the operational level a staff member with responsibility for the management of Environment, Social, Health and Safety (ESHS) performance of the Project. The individuals will together ensure consistency with good international industry practice for ESHS performance and maintain compliance with all regulatory and MIGA requirements, during construction and operations.

Engineering controls and staff training will be provided to mitigate risks and issues associated with KWL's operation of the water treatment facility. The Company is required to have plans for emergency situations, assign responsibilities, and ensure appropriate response equipment and materials are in place, and develop procedures to be followed to minimize the harm from any potential accident. KWL has developed a plan for emergency response and will update procedures as needed, including drills to test their effectiveness. The emergency response plan also includes a community involvement component that addresses appropriate behavior and safety measures to be implemented in the event of an unplanned release beyond the plant boundaries due to either irregular plant operations or an accident at the facility, or during transportation of material destined for the facility.


PS2:  Labor and Working Conditions

KWL will employ about 55 employees in Rwanda, and 3-5 from MUL stationed in Rwanda from time to time to provide guidance and oversight. The number of sub-contracted employees at KWL will vary depending on construction activities from a dozen to hundreds at peak. KWL Human Resource (HR) policy and procedures were reviewed to be consistent with Metito’s HR policy but tailored for Rwanda’s operations. According to IFC, Metito’s corporate HR policy and procedures are consistent with PS2 and include an explicit commitment to meet all International Labor Organization labor standards. The minimum employment age stipulated in Metito’s HR policy is 18 years.  KWL will ensure that child labor and forced labor is not employed directly or by sub-contractors through verification of relevant documents.


Construction activity will be largely sub-contracted, unskilled labor will be procured from nearby towns and villages. Occupational health and safety (OHS) of employees at KWL will be managed by the HR and Administration department. Consistent with Metito's policies, a plan for accident prevention and worker safety consistent with local regulatory requirements has been incorporated in KWL’s ESMS. All employees in the Company will undergo OHS training program at induction and subsequently health and safety training relevant to their job activity. Supervisors will monitor that standards are met and any incidents are reported and follow up actions taken when required.


PS3:  Resource Efficiency and Pollution Prevention


KWL will abstract 40,000 m3/ day of raw water from the Nyabarongo River to supply the WTP. Initial assessment suggests the abstraction of the 40,000m3 /day of groundwater along the banks

of the Nyabarongo River will have a minimal impact on the flow of the river including the dry season.  Hydrological modeling for the proposed Project was conducted using data used from the Kanzenze gauging station, which is 400 m upstream of the Project well fields, and after the confluence of Nyabarongo and Akanyaru Rivers. Additional data was collected from piezometers on site and pumping (well) tests. Analysis of the data confirms good hydraulic connectivity of the underlying Nyabarongo valley aquifer with the Nyabarongo River, and that recharge of the aquifer is directly from the Nyabarongo River. Based on the River flow data made available (from 1971 – 2013), the river is considered to hold suitable volumes during low flow with absolute historical lowest flow of 19 m3/s, and an average flow estimated to be about 45 m3/s. Additional hydrologic studies and models to establish surface and sub-surface flow have confirmed that the well field continuous hydraulic connectivity to the Nyabarongo River.


The Project is required to comply with drinking water quality specifications set out in the PPP Agreement, in compliance with Rwandan drinking water quality specifications which are largely consistent with WHO drinking water standards. KWL will use conventional technology for treatment of potable water (i.e. flocculation, sedimentation, and rapid gravity sand filtration). The technologies are widely used and proven to provide reasonable assurance of meeting acceptable water quality standards when operated properly. Noise and odor are not considered to be significant issues in this Project. Compliance with applicable standards will be monitored as per PPP Agreement by third party vendors certified by the local government.


At present raw water is being consumed directly from the source in the general Project area.  Results from the water quality assessment of the Nyaborongo river indicate the presence of ammoniacal nitrogen, faecal coliforms, and E.coli - a potential indication of sewage contamination.   Although sewage-derived contaminants are not specified under the PPP agreement, the WTP is expected to treat related pathogens. Dissolved organic constituents, such as those containing nitrogen, may not be addressed by the current WTP design and this is recognized as a potential limitation of the treatment system. As part of the operation schedule of the WTP specified in the PPP agreement, KWL will carry out regular raw water quality monitoring for relevant indicators intended to inform the operation of the WTP. Furthermore, KWL will regularly monitor hydraulic parameters and report to MIGA in its Annual Monitoring Report. 


The water treatment process will generate significant quantities of non-hazardous sludge which will be dewatered on site before disposal. Two options are currently under consideration for the disposal of sludge from the WTP. The preferred option is for beneficial reuse such as conversion into bricks for the building industry, or other potential land application use if found suitable. An alternate option is disposal into an engineered landfill site, which is currently in an advanced stage of planning by the local government. Annual production of sludge from the Project is estimated to be about 4 dry tons per day. Limited quantities of solid waste and hazardous materials will be generated as part of routine operations, and will be disposed by licensed vendors. Procurement procedures will contractually require that its suppliers and sub-contractors comply with applicable regulatory requirements and Company policies. During the testing and commissioning phase of the WTP, there may be discharge of process water into the receiving environment and the quantity will depend on the raw water quality. KWL will ensure that water is suitably contained or that it is treated before discharge into the receiving environment in line with the discharge permit (Action #1).

KWL’s principal energy usage includes electricity supplied from the grid and is estimated to be approximately 20 million kWh per year during full production. No standby generation is currently planned for the Project. Net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions attributable to KWL’s planned annual consumption of electricity are estimated to be about 10,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year.


PS4: Community Health, Safety and Security

Potential impacts to community health, safety and security from the Project activities are expected to be minor and readily addressed through control measures. Impacts will be highest during construction due to increased traffic movement of both light and heavy vehicles along densely populated roads. During operations, main transportation risks are related to the transportation of the sludge to the site of final disposal.  KWL has developed a Traffic Management Plan that prescribes minimum requirements on vehicle condition and safe driving practices. Security arrangements are expected to include a perimeter fence around project components as well as access control by unarmed guards.


PS5: Land Acquisition and Involuntary Resettlement

Under the PPP Agreement, WASAC shall secure all leases for the land required for the Project. Land for the WTP, well field, and pumping station were either previously owned by the GoR or if privately owned, triggered the expropriation law but were acquired by WASAC through a willing buyer, willing seller agreement between WASAC and the land owners based on the values provided by an independent valuer. Under the previous design proposal, the WTP was sited a few meters away from a house on the land parcel belonging to a private party. To avoid physical resettlement, the location of the WTP was shifted to minimize impact.  


A small number of individuals within the Project area bring water from the river back to their families for day to day consumption, and a smaller number depend on providing water as a livelihood. KWL will work with WASAC to develop an alternate livelihoods plan for the informal water carriers who may be potentially disadvantaged from the supply of piped potable water to their communities in accordance with the plans developed for the ESMS (Action #2).

Land for the associated facilities, namely the additional pumping station, telemetry outstations signal cabling and reservoirs acquisition triggered the expropriation law but also followed a willing buyer, willing seller agreement based on values provided by an independent valuer. The 14.5 km water pipeline was designed and will be constructed along the existing road reserve. Temporary economic displacement may occur from the loss of crops, trees and fences of homes and/or private businesses. The compensation process will be led by the GoR in accordance with local law. As these are associated facilities to the Project, KWL will address risks and impacts in a manner commensurate with their level of control and influence over the GoR. KWL will follow up on the status of land acquisition and compensation activities  (Action #3).


PS6:  Community Health, Safety and Security

The Project will abstract water from Nyabarongo River which flows through the Nyabarongo wetland. The Nyabarongo wetland has been identified as an Important Bird Area (IBA RW004) in Rwanda and a refuge for wetland-dependent species, and plays an important role in regulating water flow. The wetland is not listed on the RAMSAR designated list of wetlands of international importance. The proposed Project area is also not categorized as critical habitat or located within any legally protected zone.


The ESIA assessed the impact of the Project on the Nyabarongo wetland and associated biodiversity. The ESIA indicates there are two types of national designation of wetlands in Rwanda: (i) where no construction activities of any nature are allowed; and (ii) where construction activities are allowed with the appropriate mitigation measures in place. The Nyabarongo wetlands fall under the latter category, and the Rwanda Environment Management Authority has issued a permit allowing development of the Project.


The Nyaborongo wetland is home of the endangered Madagascar Pond heron Ardeola idae, the Near-threatened Papyrus Gonolek Laniarius mufumbiri, the Vulnerable Grey Crowned Crane Balearica regulorum gibbericeps, and Sitatunga Tragelaphus spekii. The wetland is currently under pressure from land conversion as a result of agricultural activities. Potential Project impacts include land clearance during construction, and abstraction of water from the Nyabarongo River during operations. These are anticipated to be minimized by the adoption of good industry practices. According to the ESIA no adverse impact is anticipated on the bird population. However, a monitoring program will be implemented during construction and operations in accordance with the Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP).


The projected cumulative demand from the Nyabarongo River as a result of Project activities is estimated to be less than 5% of the total flow under minimum flow conditions, and hence considered to have minimal impact on the sustainability of the Nyabarongo wetlands. KWL will implement a monitoring system and to coordinate with relevant local authorities to ensure adequate management of the wetlands and the groundwater resource.

The ESIA (2015) for the Project was approved by the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) per approval certificate referenced Certificate N0: RDB/3/EC.SD/133/06/15 in line with the requirements of Article 67 of Environmental Law No 04/2005 of 08/04/2005. The ESIA was updated in 2016 and in 2018. As required by GoR law, a permit has also been obtained from the Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) for abstraction of groundwater resource from the Kanzenze well fields for the proposed Project. Other permits required for the Project will be obtained from relevant government entities as implementation phases are progressed.


ESIA report is available on site and copies were shared with relevant authorities including local administration. The ESIA process included public consultation with key Project stakeholders / potential Project affected communities. The consultation meetings are documented (minutes from meetings and photographs). Key stakeholders for the Project include members of communities in the Project Area.


KWL has developed a community engagement and consultation procedure as part of its ESMS for communicating E&S aspects to stakeholders, and maintain procedures for receiving, documenting and responding to stakeholder concerns relating to the project, in collaboration with relevant local authorities.

The following documentation is available electronically as PDF attachment to this ESRS at

  • Updated Report – Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) for Kigali Bulk Water Supply Project, January 2018


For more information see the company’s website at and

For additional information, please contact:


Contact Name: Reem Saleh
Address: P.O. Box 262335
Tel: +971 4 810 3333
Fax: +971 4 810 3300

# Action Anticipated Completion
PS 3/1       Obtain and implement a discharge consent from the relevant environmental regulator to discharge into receiving water Prior to operations                                       
PS 5/2       Development and implementation of an Alternative Livelihoods Plan for informal water carriers Prior to operations                                       
PS 5/3    Follow up on the status of land acquisition and compensation activities of associated facilities. 150 days after construction of associated facilities