While construction at the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project progressed beyond the 71% mark, bringing Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania ever closer to realizing the 80 MW power generation goal, communities are also witnessing progress on the Local Area Development Plan (LADPs) initiated through the Project. On 15th August 2020, the Burundi Minister for Energry Affairs Hon. Eng. Ibrahim Uwizeye, who is also the Chairperson of Rusumo Power Company Limited’s Council of Ministers, visited the LADPs in Giteranyi and Busoni Communes of Burundi where he commended the progress made.
“I am delighted that surrounding communities will soon benefit from better health care and youth skills and have access to potable water,” the Hon. Minister said.
“I urge the project to speedily equip these infrastructures so that they become operational and serve the communities,” the Hon. Minister added. In Burundi, Rusumo Project has constructed two health centres - Bugoma and Mugano. Jeanine Uwizeyimana, a community member of Mugano Colline in Giteranyi Commune shared her excitement about healthcare facilities brought to their neighborhood.
“We are happy that Mugano health facility is in our neighborhood and we hope it will be affordable and of good quality, because development of our area depends on health of our community members,” she said.
In Tanzania, Rusumo Project LADP constructed Kyenda dispensary and two health centres for Rusumo and Lukole villages. Those health amenities are fully equipped and have medication blocks, convenient toilets, mortuaries, theaters and labor wards, incinerators as well as accommodation for health centre staff. In Rwanda, LADP built Kigina Health Centre that serves over 10,000 people in Kirehe District. Kigina, the pioneer health project, was launched in June 2019 and has been operational from that date. It has improved quality of lives of Rusumo communities and prevented death from treatable diseases.
Improving Hygiene and Access to Potable Water
In July 2020, Ngoma District inaugurated 28.7 km of mixed water pipeline in Gatonde-Gahima Cells that will benefit about 10,000 people and 33km of Gituku-Murama water supply system accessed by 18,000 people in Rukira and Murama Sectors.
Empowering youth, building an educated generation in Tanzania
The LADP project has built two youth vocational training centres in Tanzania with the objective of strengthening youth capacity and also constructed classrooms, dormitories, administration blocks, and dining halls for two secondary schools (Kyenda and Ngoma) and two primary schools (Minterama and Rusumo).
“Ngara district prioritized access to quality education as a social investment that will reap long term benefits and positive change,” said Mr. Aidan Bahama, Ngara Director of Education (DED).
“The district wants every child to develop knowledge and values and will facilitate them to enroll at the nearest school, as this will increase academic success particularly among female students,” he added.
The Local Area Development Plan (LADP) is a USD 15 million benefit-sharing program designed to enhance economic and social development in Rusumo area. The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project (RRFHP) is being implemented on the Rusumo River by NELSAP-PIU on behalf of the Rusumo Power Company Limited (RPCL) established by the governments of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania. The project is funded by the World Bank for USD 340 million. Transmission lines connecting electric grids of the three countries to the Rusumo project switchyard are funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) for USD 128 Million.