The regional Rusumo Falls Hydro-Electric Project is set to commence construction tomorrow at the Rusumo site on the Kagera River in Tanzania.
The project will be flagged of by ministers of the Energy, Water and Finance from the three beneficiary states; Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The power generation plant is estimated to cost about $340m and will be financed by the World Bank while the transmission lines connecting the plant to national grids is financed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) at a cost of $121 million.
The project is expected to generate add about 26.6MW to each of the beneficiary States and strengthen the regional power interconnection between the countries.
According to a statement by the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program Coordination Unit (NELSAP), the development will improve livelihoods of about 7,000 households in the beneficiary districts under the local area development program and about 188 households will be impacted by the projects through livelihood restoration program.
NELSAP is the investment arm of the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) and is tasked to manage and develop the shared Nile Basin water resources.
Over 500 skilled, non- skilled and casual workers from the three beneficiary countries will also gain employment courtesy of the project.
Construction work which will take about three years have been contracted to a Chinese firm CGCOC Group Ltd - Jiangxi Water & Hydropower Construction Company Ltd Joint Venture.
Eng. Elicad Elly Nyabeeya the Regional Coordinator of NELSAP said that the project demands effective coordination and management to deliver the required plant.
He noted that once the project is completed, it will enhance socio-economic growth, reinforce regional cooperation, partnership and peace within the Kagera River Basin countries.