Following the launch of a new thermal power plant which produces 30 MW by the company in charge of supplying water and electricity [REGIDESO], the power failure is less in different neighborhoods of the capital Bujumbura these days. Consumers say they are content with the current regular supply.
“We are provided with electricity at least the whole day. There is also no selective power cut”, says Benjamin Ndikumana, the owner of welding and carpentry workshops living in Kibenga neighborhood, southern Bujumbura. There’s more value thanks to the launch of the new thermal power plant of 30 MW. “The electricity supply used to only last an hour per day before. But now, we get it until midnight”, he says.
Rise in Price of Electricity
The use of the new thermal power plant goes with the rise in price of electricity. Its generators use between 150 and 160 thousand liters of oil per day and the cost will amount to six billion Burundian francs per month. Jéroboam Nzikobanyanka, Director General of REGIDESO said the price of electricity would increase. “For houses with low voltage, the cost of 50 kwh will increase from BIF 3400 to BIF 4100. Similarly, 150 Kwh that cost BIF 17200 will now cost BIF 33100. For commercial institutions with low voltage, the cost of 100Kwh will increase from BIF 11295 to BIF 23622 while 250 kWh will increase from BIF 37645 to BIF 78838,” detailed Mr Nzikobanyanka.
Even if the price of power has increased, electricity users have not yet increased the price of their products and services. “We haven’t any choice. We maintain former prices,” says a hairdresser met in Bwiza neighborhood in the center of Bujumbura. He also says they have received order from their association refusing them to increase fees for hair cutting. “Our hairdressing salons will have no customers if we increase prices”, he says.
Welders, hairdressers, typists, restaurant owners, say the price of electricity should at least increase as long as electricity is accessible to them.