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Rwanda is a landlocked country located in Africa's Central-East Great Lakes region. It has a population of 7.5 million which occupies 26,338 km'. Its population density (285/km') is one of the highest in the world and has prompted fear of a rapid degradation of the ecosystem. There are no central sewer systems in Rwanda. The use of pit latrines and septic tanks is common in urban and rural areas. People still defecate in the fields (World Bank, 1989). Less than half of the urban population is served by a central water supply. The majority of people get their water untreated from rivers that have been polluted by chemicals and human excreta. In and around the capital city of Kigali, there is a concentration of people, farms, and industries which discharge wastewater into the Nyabarongo River and its tributaries. The Nyabarongo River, a tributary of the Nile, empties into the Akagera River which flows into Lake Victoria. Nyabarongo River water is used for drinking water, cooking, bathing, and agriculture in the Kigali area. There has been very little monitoring of the water quality of the Nyabarongo River and of industrial outfalls located on tributaries of the Nyabarongo River. As a first step in understanding the water quality of the Nyabarongo River, wastewater samples were collected in 1993 from industrial outfalls located on tributaries of the Nyabarongo River. Most of the facilities sampled had no wastewater treatment. The impact of these discharges on the water quality of the Nyabarongo River was evaluated.
Gasana, Janvier, "Industrial Discharges of Metals in Kigali, Rwanda, and the Impact on Drinking Water Quality" (1997). Environmental & Occupational Health. Paper 2.