Dangers of exposed power cables in Huye

Thursday December 20 2018

Rural electrification.

Rural electrification. Residents of Huye district want underground power lines replaced with overhead cables. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

By ARAFAT MUGABO
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Residents of Huye district are facing the risk of electrocution due to underground power lines that are not safely covered.

Recently, a 10-year-old was killed by electric shock and now residents are worried more may die if nothing is done.

Since 2009, residents of some areas of Kigali and upcountry have been complaining about uncovered underground electric cables, urging the relevant authorities to consider overhead lines.

In early 2012, the Electricity, Water, and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), currently Rwanda Energy Group (REG), began to implement this but is yet to cover all areas especially upcountry.

Dieudone Mutabazi, a resident in Tumba sector in Northern Province whose son died after being electrocuted by underground power lines said, his son wouldn’t have died if the wires were stringed overhead on poles.

“The risks of electrical injuries and electrocution deaths will greatly be reduced if the utility company helps us and string electric wires overhead,” he said.

According to Ange Sebutege, Mayor of Huye District, the underground electric wires are still a big challenge in the villages in his district.

“I want to promise people in Huye that this issue will be sorted out in collaboration with utility firm before more harm is done,” he said.

Jean Pierre Maniraguha, REG branch manager in Huye District told Rwanda Today that the problem would have been sorted long time ago but shortage of funds delayed the initiative.

“We are given funds of removing one kilometre of electric wires in the ground every month, meaning a year its 12 kilometres,” Mr Maniraguha said.

This, he says, is little, but they are improvising lest they take too long —more five years — to completely remove electric wires in the ground.

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