Rwanda will have added 23 megawatts of electricity to the national electricity grid before the end of June, next year, while 88 per cent of the country’s households will have access to clean drinking water by then.
By then, construction of major infrastructure projects such as the planned Bugesera International Airport and some major roads will have also been launched, officials say.
The targets were revealed recently, by officials at the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA) as they presented the 2015/16 Infrastructure Sector achievements and targets for the 2016/17 financial year.
Overall, the last fiscal year (2015/16) saw the country realise some of the remarkable infrastructural projects such as the Kigali Convention Centre, improved supply of electricity with the total installed capacity on the national grid now standing at 190 megawatts, and major achievements registered in the areas of air transport and human settlement.
As targets for the current financial year (2016/17) were being revealed, heads of MININFRA attached parastatals signed their annual performance contracts with the Minister for Infrastructure.
Officials made it clear that they want improved infrastructure to drive the country’s economy.
“What we want is for the infrastructure sector to help advance the country’s development as it’s well in line with the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II) and the government’s seven-year programme,” the Minister for Infrastructure, James Musoni, said at the event.
Under EDPRS II, the Government has laid out action plans to deliver the country to a middle income economy, with significant investments focusing on rural development, productivity, youth employment, and accountable governance.
MININFRA officials said they will boost EDPRS II plan by increasing stability, reliability, and affordability of electricity in the country, with 23 megawatts expected to be added to the national grid in the current fiscal year.
The power include 15 megawatts from the Gishoma Peat to Power project in Western Province’s Rusizi District, and eight megawatts from Kivuwatt methane gas power plant in the province’s Karongi District, which are soon to be commissioned.
The energy additions will increase electricity generation on the national grid from the current 190 megawatts to 213 megawatts before the end of June next year.
Projects, clean energy sources
MININFRA officials also announced that there are major energy projects in the pipeline such as 50 megawatts Symbion Methane Gas to power, 80 megawatts Hakan Peat to Power, and regional projects such as; 80 megawatts Rusumo and 147 megawatts Rusizi III that are at advanced stages and will substantially increase the current installed capacity.
The Government has targeted to have 563 megawatts on the national grid by 2018 in order to meet the country’s growing energy demands.
But plans are also underway to put other energy sources such as solar energy to use by working with the private sector, officials said yesterday.
They revealed that 13.67 per cent off-grid connection for households is expected in the current fiscal year, up from 2.6 per cent in the last fiscal year, while on-grid is expected to reach 27.3 per cent in the current fiscal year, up from 24.3 in the last fiscal year.
In water and sanitation sector, MININFRA revealed that it will build 512 kilometres of water network in rural areas to serve 328,321 people and upgrade some water networks in the City of Kigali, secondary cities, and rural areas.
The target is to increase access to clean drinking water countrywide to 88 per cent of households by the end of next June, up from 84.8 per cent last June.
Officials said access to improved sanitation countrywide is at 83.4 per cent and is expected to reach 85 per cent by the end of next June, thanks to the planned completion of multi-year water and sanitation projects which are on-going in different parts of the country.
Among other milestones expected in the current fiscal year is kick-starting the construction of a new international airport in Bugesera, about 25 kilometres from the capital Kigali, and boosting RwandAir fleet with four new aeroplanes, including two Airbus A330s and two Boeing 737-800s, and expanding its flight services with additional new seven destinations.
Several hundreds of kilometres of feeder roads will also be built in rural areas, others in urban areas upgraded from un-paved to paved roads, while rehabilitation works on the highway from Kagitumba to Rusumo border through Kayonza will be started as well as the construction of a new road between Nyagatare in Eastern Province and Gicumbi in Northern Province.