On 12th July a delegation of the European Union visited the site of the Nyamabuye hydraulic water supply system where the consortium AVSI-MLFM in collaboration with the District of Gicumbi carried out the “Intervention to strengthen the hydraulic system, promote environmental protection and a responsible use of water”, financed by the European Union in the period 2007-2011.The visit of the EU delegation was a unique opportunity for AVSI to assess together with the donor the operating state of the work done, its value to the local population as well as its sustainability and see the potential the project has created in terms of increased accessibility to renewable energy for all.
The EU delegation had the opportunity to visit various projects related to sustainable energy production with the objective to assess the possibility of establishing links between access to water and energy, a very inportant approach for Rwanda, where a significant portion of power supply depends on water.
The members of the EU delegation were: the Ambassador Michel Arrion, Head of EU Delegation to Rwanda, Kigali, Faouzi Bensarsa, Energy Counsellor, EC – Brussels, Ioannis Tzartzas, Head of Infrastructure Section, EU Delegation to Rwanda, Kigali, Jordi Cadilla-Falco, Program Officer, Infrastructure Section, EU Delegation to Rwanda, Kigali, Olivier Machiels, Program Officer, Rural Development Section, EU Delegation to Rwanda, Kigali, Egide Niyogusaba, Program Manager for Infrastructure, EU Delegation to Burundi, Bujumbura, Sergio Piazzardi, Head of Infrastructure Section, EU Delegation to DRC, Kinshasa.
The delegation visited the original and sustainable pumping water system placed on the tops of the hills through hydropower, which has been rehabilitated and improved within the Water Facility project that helped to rehabilitate a water supply of 37 km in the Sectors of Rukomo, Ruvune and Nyamiyaga. They also visited the dam that stores the water collected in the nearby river, which is then directed into a turbine that produces the necessary energy to pump the water towards the main tank at the top of the hill.
From the visit and assessment of the work done, it emerged that the strategy used to produce energy to pump water uphill is not only adaptable to the production of the elecricity, but also reproducible on other sites in Rwanda. Many natural resources are present in Rwanda and the appropriate technology necessary for such projects is available as well at local level. Furthermore, the plant maintenance capabilities and skills for the good management of the whole system were transferred during the project to local technicians and were suitable for beneficiaries. In conclusion AVSI and the UE Delegation could truly verify the existing big opportunities to further improve the living conditions of local people, by strengthening their partnership.