Citizens of Kirehe Districts in Mpanga Sector, Nyakabungo cell, Kabuga and Rudandi Villages in the Eastern Province of Rwanda have benefitted from a new 13Kw Pico Hydro Power Plant that was launched on July 25th, 2019.

The launch was part of Energy4Impact (E4I), a non-profit organization working with companies that provide energy access to off-grid communities.

The event marks the official operation of Nyankorogoma Pico Hydro Power Plant that will supply power to 144 Households, 19 businesses and 2 institutions of Kabuga, and Rudandi villages.

The plant was constructed by Ducane Kabrud Mini-grid Ltd which is jointly owned by a private developer and the community through a community ownership model. With the support of E4I through its Scaling up off Grid Energy in Rwanda (SOGER) programme, Nyankorogoma Pico Hydro Power Plant costed 101,500 USD.

The SOGER programme is funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) through the Swedish Embassy in Kigali. The objective of the programme is to contribute to the growth of a sustained off-grid renewable energy market in Rwanda.

The launch of the Nyankorogoma Pico Hydro Power Plant which is part of the SOGER program is aligned with the Rwandan government’s vision to achieve 100% electricity coverage by 2024. Hence the project represents a significant achievement for the programme and the development of the off-grid market in Rwanda.

Herbert Njiru Country manager of Energy4Impact

Herbert Njiru, E4I country manager said that Nyankorogoma Hydro Power Plant is located in a remote area and E4I contributed over 70% of money to construct the power plant while 30% was citizen’s contribution to supplement and implement Israel who developed the plant.

“We helped them technically and financially from zero, we trained them how things could go,” Njiru said.

He added that the power plant will enable at least five businesses to run in the area. “We helped five businesses to run, such as tailoring, ibyuma bisya, kubaza, and other basic services citizens need in their daily lives,” he said.

Beneficiaries speak out

Jennette Mushimiyimana, one of the beneficiaries from Rudandi village said that the project inception was a response to their problem of lack of electricity. “Before this project, we used to use petrol lamp and nobody could be walk around tonight due to the shadow in the location, we are now going to enjoy electricity to do businesses such as the popcorns, etc,” Mushimiyimana said.

Beneficiaries who got electricity

Elias Ndyanabo, a citizen from Rudandi village in nyakabungo cell said that electricity comes on time and it was a dream for them to get connected with electricity. “we live between hills and with shadow at evening and we feared to pass by tonight,” he said. “In fact, this is a good achievement but we wish that everyone gets own meter,” he added.

Jean damascene Nsengiyumva, the vice mayor in charge of finance and economic development in kIrehe District said that this is a good initiative.

“In Kirehe district the first citizen got electricity in 2010, now we are at 47% including solar energy, we still have a long way to go to get at 100%, we appreciate that today over 14o households are connected, thanks to development partners who are contributing in connecting citizens, it is a good achievement that helps in job creation as many citizens have started businesses such as hair dressing, tailoring and it will contribute to reduction of citizens living in poverty,” Nsengiyumva said, advising citizens to protect these infrastructures.

Israel Habimana, from Mpanga sector in Kirehe District, is an entrepreneur in research and since 2011 started to learn how possible it can be to use nyankorogoma water sources to make an hydro power plant.

Habimana contributed a lot and was trained by EWSA, he got many pieces of advice, and he later got support by E4I. He partnered with citizens and generated 13Kw. “This is enough for two villages Rudandi and Kabuga that are made of 227 households,” he said.

Energy4impact is a non-profit organisation that supports local businesses that provide energy access to off-grid communities in Africa. The organisation supports the growth and development of enterprises serving the off-grid energy market by addressing challenges relating to developing appropriate technologies; building effective product distribution channels; proving and adapting business models and accessing finance.

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