The Burundian Water and Electricity Company (REGIDESO) has issued an alert whereby it said the country is to face the worst energy shortage as of March if nothing is done, the REGIDESO manager said Wednesday.

“As of March this year, if nothing is done, we (people living in Burundi) may return to the use of candles. The energy production has lowered due to poor rainfalls and this has adversely affected the functioning of hydropower dams because the water level has seriously dropped in all reservoirs of hydropower dams, REGIDESO General Manager Jeroboam Nzikobanyanka said.

Nzikobanyanka issued the alert after visiting Rwegura hydropower dam in the country’s northern province of Kayanza — the east African country’s main hydropower dam with a generation capacity of 18 mega watts.

“Rwegura hydropower dam that has a capacity of generating 18 mega watts is now generating only four mega watts. The dam reservoir has lost some 9.5 meters on its level,” Nzikobanyanka said.

According to him, the Rwegura dam is forced to close at 10:00 p.m. every night because by that time the dam has overworked, and reopens in the morning.

Nzikobanyanka said, “We were receiving 12 mega watts from Ruzizi II regional hydropower dam, but we now get only eight mega watts as the water level also dropped there.”

He also indicated that thermal power generators producing 10 mega watts are going to stop working as the partnership with the World Bank “risks to be suspended.”

“Therefore the ongoing power load shedding will continue until the situation returns to normalcy,” Nzikobanyanka said.

He emphasized that solutions to the power shortage are expected by 2020 with the completion of the construction of hydropower dams like Jiji-Murembwe and Mpanda.

Nzikobanyanka also indicated that the east African nation counts on the use of solar energy, like the solar energy power plant launched last week in Gitega province with the capacity of 7.5 mega watts.

He explained that since 1986, no hydropower dam was constructed in Burundi while the number of users has almost doubled.

While the total generation of hydropower dams in Burundi is about 40 mega watts, the country needs some extra 30 mega watts in order to have a total of 70 mega watts to avoid power load shedding. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh

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