Public cautioned against illegal power connections

Rwanda Energy Group (REG) has cautioned the general public to always seek technical assistance on electricity connectivity or any other issues related to power from only recognised electricians to avoid preventable incidents.
Cashpower meter box. REG has warned of the dangers of illegal power connections. (Courtesy)
Cashpower meter box. REG has warned of the dangers of illegal power connections. (Courtesy)

Rwanda Energy Group (REG) has cautioned the general public to always seek technical assistance on electricity connectivity or any other issues related to power from only recognised electricians to avoid preventable incidents.

According to the utility’s managers, the public must only use technicians employed at their different branches across the country to avoid electrically-related fatalities, injuries and property loss.

REG chief executive Ron Weiss said at a news briefing in Kigali yesterday following incidences of electrocution that resulted into some deaths which were recorded across the country.

Weiss said they will not tolerate anyone who gets involved with illegal electricity connectivity or damaging electrical infrastructure and called on the public to immediately report them to avoid fatal incidents.

“Electricity connectivity and maintenance is only done by authorised technicians. We need the public to help us trace any suspicious person involved in using substandard materials on our electricity infrastructure without permission,” he said.

He said there have been several cases where different unqualified technicians all over the country masquerade as REG employees, telling citizens that they can help them access electricity or repair their installations.

Due to these unscrupulous individuals, he said, accidents have occurred because of the substandard work and materials used by these people, he said.

Over the month of October, two girls were electrocuted in Gasabo District after they came in contact with live electrical wire that was illegally used to share electricity between two households.

Meanwhile, another girl died in Rusizi District while her two colleagues were seriously injured trying to save her, while a man and a 10-year-old pupil were also injured in Musanze due to electrical shock.

Jean Claude Kalisa, the managing director of Energy Utility Corporation Ltd (EUCL), asked people to contact their nearest branch whenever they need any assistance on power installation or other related issues.

He said no service fee should be charged by any of their technician, adding that no one should have a reason to fall for quack electricians.

“We have allocated branches countrywide to make sure our services are satisfactorily within our customers’ reach on time. So people don’t need to lose their lives due to bad installations made by unprofessional technicians and dealing with them should not be an excuse, because they only cause danger than solve problems. We have qualified technicians who can help them at any time and no cash is given to them because any payment must be made through the institution’s accounts,” Kalisa said.

“We need collaboration with the community to end such incidents. Our clients should carefully check on uniforms and service cards of all the technicians to be sure they are from REG and help us weed out impersonators,” he said.

There are 87 cases that have been reported to Police between May 2016 and June 2017.

The victims’ families will be compensated only if they had no connection with illegal electricity connectivity, according to EDCL.

 

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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