RUTSIRO - A micro hydro power plant was yesterday reopened in Murunda Sector, Rutsiro District after two years of intense renovation and refurbishment on the plant that has not been operational for the last 18 years.
The 100kw/hr plant set up under the Private Public Partnership scheme was officially opened by State Minister in charge of Energy and Water, Eng Colette Ruhamya.
The plant was refurbished by the Rural Energy Promotion (REPRO) with funding from the Dutch government, Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ).
Ruhamya emphasised that energy is a very essential aspect in the country’s economic development and expressed gratitude that the local population had played a big role in having the plant overhauled.
“With this power plant, you should be able to get so many benefits. Your local leaders should guide you identify feasible projects which will be bolstered by the availability of energy,” Ruhamya told residents.
As a way conserving the project, the minister called for the need to protect the environment, saying it would also help in achieving the objects of the country’s Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
“The government is committed to helping the private sector in any possible way to achieve economic development, especially on projects that are entirely meant for your benefit,” she pledged.
She revealed that the construction of two other plants in Rusizi and Rusumo were underway and that the government was working closely with banks to avail funds to ensure that energy rollout in the country shifts from the current 10% to 16% by 2012 and 35% in 2020.
The minister urged the public to cooperate in turning these projections into reality.
The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frans Makken, expressed joy to see the completion of a project that started as a private initiative.
“The capacity to achieve this is entirely a private affair because without them, our external contribution would have been in vain. There is no greater joy than success in combining taxpayers’ money from Europe with that from such a committed people,” Makken said.
The Executive Secretary of the Western Province, Paul Jabo, expressed optimism that the plant would facilitate development projects and help local institutions, including Murunda Hospital and Local secondary and primary schools.