Following the launch of a new thermal power plant which produces 30 Megawatts by the company in charge of supplying water and electricity [REGIDESO], the power failure is not observed in different neighborhoods of the capital Bujumbura these days. Consumers say they are satisfied with the current regular supply.
"We are provided with electricity at least the whole day. There isn't any selective power cut", says Benjamin Ndikumana, the owner of welding and carpentry workshops living in Kibenga neighborhood, southern Bujumbura. He says there is an added value thanks to the launch of the new thermal power plant of 30 Megawatts providing electricity 18 hours per day. "The electricity supply used to only last an hour per day before. But now, we get it until midnight", he says.
The use of the new thermal power plant goes with the rise in price of electricity. Its generators use between 150 and 160 thousand liters of oil per day and the cost will amount to six billion Burundian francs per month. Jéroboam Nzikobanyanka, Director General of REGIDESO said the price of electricity would increase. "For houses with low voltage, the cost of 50 kwh will increase from BIF 3400 to BIF 4100 while 150 Kwh that cost BIF 17200 will now cost BIF 33100. For commercial institutions with low voltage, the cost of 100Kwh will increase from BIF 11295 to BIF 23622 while 250 kWh will increase from BIF 37645 to BIF 78838," detailed Mr Nzikobanyanka.
Even if the price of power has increased, electricity users have not yet increased the price of their products and services. "We haven't any choice. We maintain former prices. If we increase them, we will not get any customer", says a hairdresser met in Bwiza neighborhood in the center of Bujumbura. He also says they have received order from their association refusing them to increase fees for hair cutting. "Our hairdressing salons would be closed if we increased prices", he says.
Welders, hairdressers, typists, restaurant owners contacted, say the price of electricity should at least be increased provided that the latter be accessible to them.