The frequent power cuts affecting the Eastern Province are a result of shortages in water supply, officials from the Rwanda Electricity Group (REG).
According to Belthe Nzeyimana, a REG official who oversees Gatsibo, Kayonza and Rwamagana districts, with the prolonged dry season, the water levels have dropped, lowering the capacity to generate sufficient electricity.
“Our clients should bear with us for the moment until we get enough water to supply the power plants,” he said.
Residents in various districts in the Eastern Province say their businesses have been disrupted by the load shedding that at times lasts up to 9-10 hours a day.
Claudine Uwimana, a hair salon operator in Kayonza, urged REG to notify their clients of load shedding schedules so they can plan accordingly.
If they indicated when it would be back, we could plan accordingly. A message from them indicating power would be off in the next five or seven hours doesn’t cost much,” she said, adding that the unpredictability of the load shedding is frustrating.
“They should give us a schedule of the power cuts so we can also alert our clients,” Uwimana said.
The Ministry of Infrastructure has committed to add 70 megawatts to the national grid before the closure of the current fiscal year to mitigate the current energy shortage.
This is in line with the new performance contracts (Imihigo) signed last week between the ministry officials and its stakeholders to keep the institution’s performance well beyond the average.
After registering a production increase that saw 40.5 megawatts added to the transmission lines last year, the projected 70 megawatts will be generated from peat, methane gas on top of imports from regional countries.