East African Power and global aid organization Practical Action are hoping a new micro hydroelectric power project can help create a model for economic and social development in Rwanda.
Acting through Rubagabaga Hydropower Ltd., the groups will develop a 390 kW run-of-river plant on the Rubagabaga River in Rwanda's Ngororero and Nyabihu districts. The project is expected to take about 18 months to complete.
The developers said they hope the Rubagabaga project will help lead to additional hydroelectric-fueled mini-grids, allowing for localized power distribution.
"This project, though relatively small, is incredibly important to us and the surrounding community on many levels," Practical Action manager Jechoniah Kitala said. "It is our pilot project and the demonstration of a new comprehensive development model for poor rural communities in which both a portion of electricity generated and a portion of revenues generated from supply to the national grid are poured directly into development and social impact projects in the surrounding communities."
Practical Action anticipates access to hydropower will foster opportunity for improved education, healthcare and employment opportunities.
East African Power's partnership with Practical Action comes days after the firm announced a joint venture with Afritech Energy to construct four hydropower plants in Rwanda
The country has been active in pushing small hydroelectric growth in recent months, with Rwanda's Ministry of Infrastructure leasing development rights for 22 projects to private investors in August.
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