AT LEAST 13,000 households from Gisagara District will in two-month period get electricity from the grid, an initiative that is expected to improve livelihoods in the area, according to Infrastructure Minister James Musoni.
The revelation coincided with last week’s launch of the construction of a peat power plant in Mamba sector, Gisagara District along the Akanyaru valley.
The plant is expected to generate 80MW upon completion and will be completed by 2019, according to officials.
The minister said that for residents to develop, there is need for electricity connection to enable them do more businesses to prosper.
Currently, Gisagara has 16,000 households connected to the national grid, representing 20.2 per cent of the population in the district.
This is a significant improvement from the just 24 households that were connected to electricity before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, according to district officials.
“Even before the peat power project starts, we are going to connect other 13,000 households and when it is completed, we will start from those who will be yet to be connected and connect them,” said the minister.
“In two month period you will be having electricity for you to get enough energy to use and invest in other productive businesses,” he told the residents.
Gisagara District is one of the rural districts not even connected to any of the national roads.
Residents and local leaders welcomed the development, saying the new connections will bring the number of connected people to almost double.
Once more people are connected, we are optimistic that lives will be improved as we can create more jobs such as welding, hair dressing and others thanks to the electricity. Beneficiaries shall also light their houses and will simply have ways to charge their phones unlike now when we move miles to charge,” said Annonciata Mugorewera, a resident from Mamba Sector.
Over the last seven years, more efforts in the energy sector have been directed towards diversified and balanced power production and supply to meet the national targets.
As a result, electricity generation capacity has increased almost three-fold from 76 megawatts in 2010 to 208 megawatts as of January.
The overall target is that by 2018, 70 per cent of Rwanda’s households will be connected to electricity from the 24.5 per cent of the connected household currently, according to figures from last year.
Rwanda Energy Group (REG) officials have remained optimistic about meeting the targets.