Officials at the Energy, Water, and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) have decried theft of electric cables that is on the rise in most sectors of Eastern Province’s Ngoma District.
Theft has caused financial losses to EWSA with its officials revealing that cables worth at least Rwf 10 million were recently stolen in Ngoma.
The alarm was sounded by Prosper Mubera Birori, an EWSA official, while reacting to a case of four suspects who were arrested on Friday over accusations of stealing the cables. The suspects (names withheld), were allegedly caught red-handed uprooting the electric cables.
Birori said the theft was on the rise, adding that the thieves undermined EWSA’s efforts to spread electricity to rural parts of the country.
“We have lost a lot of money, this is unacceptable. Power is constantly cut off due to theft of cables and we need everybody’s collaboration. The theft has affected our relationship with clients,” he said.
Eastern Region Police spokesman, Superintendent Emmanuel Karuranga, confirmed that the four suspects were detained at Kibungo police station.
“We commend the role played by residents in disclosing and arresting the suspects. Protecting public infrastructure is part of our obligations and all those involved should know that they won’t escape the long arm of the law,” he said.
A resident, Emile Kayibanda, said that most villages were in constant blackout due to rampant cable theft in the district.
“It is a sad reality that cable theft is becoming a ‘norm’ in our communities. I can’t remember how many cases we have had. It is up to EWSA and authorities to come up with meaningful precautions,” he said.