13 November 2012

Rwanda: Govt Exceeds Five-Year Electricity Roll Out Target

Photo: SteveRwanda/Wikipedia
Kigali, Rwanda (file photo).

Electricity rollout programme in the country is expected to exceed the 16 percent target that the government set five years ago, according to the head of the Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA).

The government set the five-year period for its rural electrification programme with the aim of increasing electricity accessibility from six percent in 2007, to 16 percent by the end of 2012.

"Under the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), 350,000 (16 percent) households were targeted to be connected nationwide by the year 2012 but we are going to surpass that number by 10,000 connections," Yves Muyange, Director General of the utility told The New Times in an interview yesterday.

To achieve economic growth, the country also plans to increase electricity access by up to 35 percent by 2020.

Muyange stated that by the end of September, they had connected 331,000 households and by December, they will have connected about 360,000.

He pointed out that the electricity rollout priority areas being connected to the national grid are schools, health facilities and pumping water facilities and administrative offices.

"The projects expected soon to increase electricity on the national grid are; the 25 megawatts (MW) KivuWatt project of methane gas, small micro hydropower projects of six megawatts being commissioned gradually since two months back, 28MW Nyabarongo Power Project to be ready by early 2014 and the 15MW peat power project among others," Muyange explained.

According to the national electricity master plan, geothermal energy is expected to contribute at least 300MW to the national grid by 2017, and potentially provide half of the country's energy requirements by 2020.

With over 1.3 billion people worldwide yet to have access to electricity, the United Nations calls on world leaders to ensure equitable access to energy.

According to Mayor of Karongi District, Bernard Kayumba, there is a massive electricity rollout in his district.

"We are targeting to connect at least 10 percent households during the 2012/2013 fiscal year. It is one of our main targets of 2012/2013 performance contracts," he said.

He stated that energy access in Karongi District stands at three percent but the rollout campaign is ongoing.

Kicukiro District targets to connect all cells and villages with electricity this fiscal year, according to the district mayor, Paul Jules Ndamage.

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