Extraction of methane gas harmless – Ruhamya

The State Minister for Energy and Water, Eng. Colette Ruhamya has dispelled concerns that the extraction of methane gas and other fossil fuels from Lake Kivu will harm biodiversity in the area. Ruhamya said that there are set guidelines followed in the process of extracting the gas to avoid any potential dangers.
Ministers Stanislas Kamanzi of Environment (R) and Coletha Ruhamya of Water and Energy (c) with REMA Director General, Rose Mukankomeje, during the meeting, yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda)
Ministers Stanislas Kamanzi of Environment (R) and Coletha Ruhamya of Water and Energy (c) with REMA Director General, Rose Mukankomeje, during the meeting, yesterday. (Photo J Mbanda)

The State Minister for Energy and Water, Eng. Colette Ruhamya has dispelled concerns that the extraction of methane gas and other fossil fuels from Lake Kivu will harm biodiversity in the area.

Ruhamya said that there are set guidelines followed in the process of extracting the gas to avoid any potential dangers.

The Minister, made the remarks, yesterday, during a town hall meeting at Telcom House, broadcast live on national radio and television.

The meeting, that was organized by the Ministry of Infrastructure in conjunction with the Ministry of Lands and Environment, aimed at among others, updating on the status of Lake Kivu, its wealth and to clarify on the dangers that might arise as a result of gas extraction.

“One of the priority areas in this (gas extraction) is to protect the lives of the people, protect the environment and to efficiently use the extracted gas,” Ruhamya noted.
She said that several feasibility studies were carried out on how the extraction will be carried out without causing any harm and how effectively the waters separated from methane gas, which contain other fossil fuels, are put in places with equivalent density in the lake without causing any harm to species such as fish in the lake.

Ruhamya added that a Lake Kivu monitoring team was set up to keep an eye on the activities in the lake.

Currently, she said, methane gas, carbon dioxide, petroleum, fertilizers, electricity and hydrogen sulphide are some of the fossils fuel that were discovered in Lake Kivu “but due to capacity constraints, we prioritized methane gas and electricity.”

She said that they are now collaborating with Burundi and DRC to develop the Rusizi III and Rusizi IV hydropower plants which will serve the three countries.

Lake Kivu is said to be containing 65 billion cubic metres of methane (50 million tonnes of petrol) lying 250 metres under the water.

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