The Project Coordinator of the Electricity Access Rollout Program (EARP), Edward Kasumba, has said that over 225,000 power connections were carried out across the country.
EARP is a three-year project working under the Electricity, Water and Sanitary Authority (EWSA) that is expected to wind up in 2012.
“In 2009 when EARP began its activities, only 110,000 power connections were in place countrywide. But by end of July this year, the number had increased to 225,000 and I am optimistic that we shall even surpass our target of having at least 350,000 connections before the end of 2012,” said Kasumba.
He noted that EARP was put in place to help accelerate the targets outlined in the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS).
The official noted that among the lines installed under EARP is the one from Kigali to Kamonyi and Muhanga districts, which he said, connected many trading centres and households along the Kigali-Huye highway.
He added that they distributed electricity cables, poles and transformers in various parts of Kigali City, which previously experienced load shedding.
Kasumba also noted that they installed power connections in various parts of Bugesera District, including Ruhuha, Rilima, Kayenzi, Mayange and Ramiro, which had no electricity before.
He said that their activities are usually hampered by the nature of settlements, especially in rural areas, underlining that scattered households make their activities difficult and costly.
Kasumba urged the Ministry of Local Government to expedite the community settlement policy to ease their work.
He revealed that the average cost of power connection per household is US$1000 for those residing within community settlements popularly known as Umudugudu, while the cost is usually higher for areas not within such areas.
According to Kasumba, households meet only 10 percent of the cost while the rest is covered by the government.