GICUMBI — Electricity supply to Rukomo trading centre has remained elusive for ages, despite being a resting spot for long distance travellers.
Residents are bitter that electric poles with transmission wires were erected six months ago but up to now, they have done nothing to connect the area to the electric grid, just 7km away from Gicumbi.
“Electricity poles and cables were installed six months ago at Rukomo, but no power has been supplied,” said Emanel Nsengimana, the manager of Top view Hotel.
He suggests that the number of people seeking accommodation at their hotel would double if they had power. Many small scale business operators in the area believe that lack of electricity affects their businesses.
Jean Marie Bizimana, a bar operator who also provides roasted goat’s meat, says he slaughters seven goats per day for long distance travellers but If electricity was available, it would make a difference.
Several attempts to talk to concerned authorities were futile. During the night, darkness falls only illuminated by wax candles, lantern lamps and small generators. The population almost doubles at night due to the influx of truck drivers.
Rukomo is the busiest centre along Gatuna-Kigali highway. It is approximately 20 Km from Gatuna border and about 45- minutes drive from Kigali. It’s proximity to Kigali City and Gatuna border makes it ‘safe haven’ for transit trucks’ drivers and other commuters.
Besides long distance travellers who enjoy roasted Pork, goat’s meat, fresh milk and boiled meat, it also serves as a waiting venue for passengers to various destinations; because it is located at the road junction leading to Byumba town, Nyagatare and Gatuna border.