FEATURED: How access to electricity is improving citizens welfare in Kayonza district

In the ongoing journey to connect all households in Rwanda by 2024, the electricity connectivity in Kayonza district stands at 48 per cent, On-grid and off-grid. / F Byumvuhore

Residents of Kabarondo, Murama and Kabare sectors in Kayonza district are reaping big from a project which aims to improve access to reliable on-grid electricity services for households and priority public institutions in the Eastern province.

The project has benefited eight schools, three water pumping stations, coffee factory, health centres and homes.

The move was a part of an electrification project being implemented in three districts of the Eastern Province.

It is funded by the Belgian Government with an aim to improve access to reliable on-grid electricity services for households and priority public institutions.

The project has so far helped to deliver electricity to 3241 households in Kayonza district. It targets to connect 3400 households to electricity in this fiscal year.

The owners of commercial centers appreciate the progress. / Frederic Byumvuhore

According to the officials, various entrepreneurial projects such as milling plants, beauty salons, welding and stationary shops have been created in Kayonza district due to electricity rollout.

Residents say that service delivery in public and private institutions has improved in their communities. 

Pumping station facilities are among the most that people are appreciating since they are helping them to increase access to safe drinking water.

Under the project, three water pumping stations were built to supply clean water to residents, schools, hospitals and factories.

Emmanuel Bigwi, who manages a pumping station at Murama sector said that residents used endure painful long distances to fetch water from wells.

“Clean water is the source of good health. These pumping stations have increased the quantity of water supplied in this area. It helps people get clean water nearby unlike the past when they spent much time going to other places to fetch clean water,” Bigwi said.

Olive Uwanyirigira, a resident of Kabarondo sector, reflected on how her family used rely on candles during night time.

Sometimes they could spend nights in darkness, in addition to lack of stable access to radio and electricity to charge their phones, she recounted.

“We scarcely listened to the radio. Piles seemed to be expensive for us but today our Radios are on from morning to the evening. This enables us to get information on what’s happening elsewhere across the world. We appreciate our government to keep on supporting us in everything,” she said.

Three water pumping stations were established as a result of access to electricity. Frederic Byumvuhore.

Reacting to the impact that electricity brought to her business, Uwanyirigira said that working hours and customers have increased.

Janvier Munyabuhoro, another resident of Kabarondo sector, has three children who are pursuing their primary studies.

He believed that having his house connected will help the children have enough time to revise their studies.

“Access to electricity is an appreciable step that leads us to the development. We have been waiting for a long time and we thank our government for the development. Also, we used to buy candles or use traditional lamps but today we are happy,” he added.

Jackson Mugabo, the manager of Rwanda Energy Group, Kayonza Branch, says that REG is partnering with various stakeholders to accelerate the journey to connect more households.

Jackson Mugabo, the manager of Rwanda Energy Group, Kayonza Branch says that REG targets to connect 3400 households this fiscal year. / Frederic Byumvuhore

In the ongoing journey to connect all households in Rwanda by 2024, electricity connectivity in Kayonza district stands at 48 per cent, on-grid and off-grid.

Mugabo said that access to electricity is significantly building self-esteem among the residents since they started creating entrepreneurial projects, encouraging them to think more other ways they can benefit from the development and protect infrastructures.

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