Good news came out of the Western Province this week when it was announced that Kivu-Watt Methane Gas plant had finally successfully tested the gas from the lake.
This will result in generating much needed electricity for the national grid. Despite the myriad of problems that beset the project ever since it took off seven years ago, the people behind it did not give up.
By successfully harvesting the gas, it means two important milestones have been achieved; generating power and allaying the fears for millions along Kivu’s shores, that the deadly gases might escape and suffocate them.
Lake Kivu being one of the three so-called exploding lakes in the world – the others being Lake Nyos and Monoun, both in Cameroon, that emit dangerous gases. The 1986 Nyos explosion emitted enough carbon monoxide to kill close to 2,000 people.
The same fears have been hanging over the Kivu population, but now that the lake has been tamed, people should jump on the opportunities that accrue from it. It should also open doors for other energy investors who were waiting to see whether Contour Global, the people behind the project, were not just chasing after a pipedream as they were venturing into the unknown.
The success of the Kivu Methane gas venture is another indication of the government’s philosophy of thinking big and that no hurdle was too high to surmount.