Low levels in Burundi’s major dam have resulted to frequent power outages seriously affecting the lives of citizens.
REGEDISO which is the Burundian company charged with the responsibility of distributing water and electricity says that the insufficient power supply is caused by the absence of rain.
The Managing Director of Regediso, Mr. Jeroboam Nzikobanyaka in an interview said that the water levels in Rwegura dam in Kayanza Province had decreased drastically. The reason as to why the electric production has gone down from 18MW to 4MW is because the dam levels fell from 12m high to 9.56m.
Residents say that they have spent close to five days without electricity most notably in the daytime. Even when provided, it is highly limited as it barely lasts for an hour. The electricity shortage mostly affects vendors who heavily rely on electric power in order for their goods to remain in good condition.
A fish vendor complained of having incurred huge losses due to the lack of electricity. According to a statement that was released by REGEDISO, distribution of electricity will be halted everyday from 10pm so as to save for the next day. Selected power cuts will however not be communicated prior in order to prevent people from committing crimes in the dark.
A majority of the hydroelectric power plants in the country are deeply affected because of the dry season. More than 90% of the needed electricity in the whole country requires the hydroelectric power plants. The government is currently trying other sources in order to remedy the situation.
The Minister for Energy inaugurated a new solar station that is expected to start supplying electricity soon. The Mubuga and Bubanza Solar plants are expected to supply electricity for one year. The Bubanza solar plant is expected to produce 10MW.
The situation is however expected to soon improve as the government is already in partnership with those who can use thermal stations.