Small and Medium enterprises operating around Kigali City have, this year, seen their profits increase significantly due to steady power connection.
In an interview with The New Times, the chairman of Kigali Modern Furniture Cooperative in Gacinjiro, Denis Nsabimana, said that they have been able to increase their profits after government resolved the problem of power shortage, which previously hit various parts of the city.
“We used to sit idle most of day because there was no power. At times, we would go for two days without working because of load shedding,” Nsabimana said.
He said that power shortages greatly affected their activities. He cited that it would take around three weeks to make a bed which can now be completed within five to six days.
Nsabimana added that the constant availability of sufficient electricity has enabled them to meet their clients’ demands by making delivery of their products in time.
“In the previous years, people took us as liars because we could not finish work in time.”
He said that due to reliable power supply in the Gacinjiro area, more people especially the youth have joined carpentry business at their workshop, which he said, has helped reduce unemployment among the youth.
Nsabimana called for government support to build capacity among members of his cooperative which he said would equip them with skills to make better quality furniture to compete on the regional market.
Jean d’Armour Niyonsaba, another carpenter at Gisozi carpentry workshop in Gisozi Sector, Gasabo District said: “Reliable power has enabled us to improve our living standards and to meet our fiscal obligations.”
He also thanked government for constructing the road to Gisozi, which he said had increased the flow of clients.
Josephine Mukandoli, a milk vendor in Kinyinya Sector, said that it was routine for her merchandise to go bad because of the unstable power supply.
“We used to suffer a lot of financial losses due to power shortages especially dealers in livestock products like meat and milk but currently, we no longer face such challenges.”
Richard Rukundo, a barber in Gatsata Sector said: “Just last year, I received only 13 clients a day due to electricity problems but now I get over 25 and this has completely changed my financial status.”