15 June 2017

Burundi: Down Town Hotel Rutegama Jazz - 'Godsend for Many'

analysis

With electric plugs available to the public, free Wi-Fi connection, the neighboring population comes to take advantage of these free services.

From 6p.m at Down Town Hotel Rutegama Jazz located at the University Avenue, in Bwiza central area of the capital Bujumbura, passers-by come to recharge their cell phones and enjoy the free Wi-Fi connection.

For nearly five months, Down Town Hotel Rutegama Jazz has installed about ten electric plugs around its fence. The objective was to help the surrounding population facing power cut related problems.

Students, pupils, Bicycle taxi-riders ... are there, sharing the ten electric plugs. Because there is blackout in Bwiza area especially in the evenings, say the beneficiaries, we take advantage of the generator of the hotel.

"Currently, electricity only lasts for short (an hour or less). The only choice we have got is to use these plugs to recharge our mobile phones", says J.P., a student living on the 1st avenue in Bwiza area.

Before the plugs were operational, J.P. says he had to move to the city center or the neighboring Nyakabiga to recharge his cell phone. He says he used to pay BIF 200 every time he wanted to have it recharged.

"Such free services are scarce"

J.P. is also enthusiastic about the free Wi-Fi connection offered by Down Town Hotel: "After recharging my cell phone, I freely chat with different friends through phone". And his friend, living on the 3rd avenue in Bwiza area, says the same: "Before, I could leave my cell phone at home for some time, but it is no longer the case, now."

Near these plugs, five people were chatting on their smart phones using free Wi-Fi connection: "I have been using this Wi-Fi connection for one year", says P.N., tailor who lives on 4th Avenue.

All of them welcome the initiative of the boss of the Hotel: "Such free services are scarce nowadays".

Gilbert Nkurunziza, the boss of Down Town Hotel Rutegama Jazz, did not want to express himself about the service. It has been nearly a year since this hotel has made available to passers-by, a water tank to quench their thirst.

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