NYAGATARE: The government of Rwanda on Tuesday unveiled a new plan to light villages countrywide, singling out solar panels and mini-grids to drive the process.
The government had set out an ambitious national electrification plan to extend power to at least 70 per cent of the population by 2017.
However, a study conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure indicated that with the current pace of national electrification, only 33 per cent of Rwandans who live within the grid reach would have electricity by 2017.
The plan indicates that government will have to spend US$17.6 million (Rwf11.1bn) for fully subsided 22,990 biogas digesters for the poorest families while US$2.1 million (Rwf1.3bn) would be spent on loans for 76580 biogas digesters.
Speaking to different local residents in Nyagatare sector of Eastern Province, they all welcome the move by the government to light up the whole country.
Geraldine Nyinawumuntu, a resident of Bweya village, Ryeru cell of Rwempasha sector in Nyagatare district could not wait to hear news on the national radio that government plans to light up all villages in the country, including her house in this remote area of the district.
The seemingly happy mother of seven, dressed in her traditional attire as she cleaned her small house located in the middle side of Bweya village, welcomed the news in jubilation.
In an exclusive interview, Nyinawumuntu expressed her excitement: “I am a regular listener of Radio Rwanda especially when it’s news hours. That’s why I woke up in the same mood and switched on my small radio to hear the news that our government unveiled plans to extend electricity to every village in the country. I am 69-years-old now and of all these years I have never lived in a house with electricity. We have been rejecting our local leaders’ promises that this village will soon be rollout out with electricity but today marks the journey of their dream come true. I can now hope that soon my new World of living in a lit up house is near,” said Nyinawumuntu as excitement filled her face.
Like other neighbours in the area, electrification rollout across the country will contribute to the welfare of the community.
According to Eaugene Ruberangabo, another resident, electricity in villages “Will bring many development opportunities to us. Once accessed in our village, I am ready to start up a Saloon that will earn me good income.”
Claver Nsabimana, a primary teacher in the area said that the new electricity plan will improve education standards and Children performance in class as they will get extra time for revision at home.
“Normally pupils have to undergo revision once they go back home from school and this has been a problem due to lack of electricity in their homes. They have been suffering a lot during exams,” he observed.
The plan, according to state Minister in Charge of Energy, Emma-Francoise Isumbingabo will see government putting reasonable subsidies on solar panels as well as support for private sector development of mini-grids in addition to extending the grid throughout the country, where they came up with a plan to have 100 per cent of Rwandans access electricity through delivery of 100,000 biogas digesters that are fully subsidized to the poorest families in categories 1 and 2 as per Ubudehe classification.