Frequent power interruptions a threat to our aspirations

THE RECENT spate of power outages in Kigali has sparked rage, frustration and much debate as to their nature. The Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has come under much condemnation over its inability to deliver constant and reliable electricity supply.

THE RECENT spate of power outages in Kigali has sparked rage, frustration and much debate as to their nature.

The Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) has come under much condemnation over its inability to deliver constant and reliable electricity supply.

EWSA has blamed the outage to vandals explaining it as a’ highly’ technical emergency problem that needed time to correct. However, the cause of the blackouts, is murky with overloading of the national network having featured as a long-standing issue. 

The electricity interruptions in Kigali in the past one week have affected businesses thereby wrecking the city’s plan to become a regional business hub besides hampering the country’s ambition to attain the Vision 2020.

News reports indicate that a timber and furniture co-operative in Gisozi, Kigali lost an estimated Rwf15m in revenue after experiencing a three-day power blackout. Countless other businesses must have similarly lost a sizeable amount of revenue.

The supply of electricity is a key component in the country’s national development. The impact on the country’s economy goes far beyond lost output. The blackout will badly damage the country’s reputation, thereby highlighting the need to resolve the issue of power interruptions once and for all.

Government’s commitment to invest in the power sector is incontestable with energy projects in hydro, geothermal, methane gas, peat and waste ready to be developed and generate about 1,000MW by 2017.

However, as a short-term remedial measure, it is essential to invest in upgraded power distribution systems.

Otherwise, our ambitions as a nation will run into a brick wall.

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