RUSIZI - Residents of Nkombo Island no longer have to cross Lake Kivu to recharge their cell phone batteries after the sector was connected to the national grid.
About 2,900 households live on the Lake Kivu Island, in Rusizi District.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the electricity connection was financed through the Electricity Access Roll out Programme (EARP) and implemented by the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA).
The project would also partly cover two other sectors; Gihundwe and Nkanka, both in Rusizi, where over 1,000 households were connected.
“The project has also allowed the electrification of one primary school, one secondary school, one health centre and the sector administrative office,” a statement from the Ministry reads, adding that over 395 vulnerable households were connected for free.
These public institutions were previously using generators and the local population had to cross the lake to obtain any service that requires electricity.
A ceremony to mark the inauguration of the transmission line is scheduled to take place in Nkombo Sector on April 18.
The government, through EARP, has since January 2010, connected 52,000 households.
“The government recently decided to increase electrification from 110,000 in 2009 to 350,000 connections by 2013,” reads the statement, adding that they put special emphasis on social infrastructures like health facilities, schools and administrative offices.”
The target is to have at least 50 percent of the population having access to electricity in the next seven years. Electricity in the country is generated from various sources, including geothermal, hydropower, methane gas extraction, peat and solar.