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Emma ISUMBINGABO Françoise (First right) visiting the Project area in Kamanyola, DRC and meeting Representatives of the PAPs

The Director-General of the energy of Great Lakes (Energie des Grands Lacs: EGL), an arm of the Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL) in charge of ensuring cooperation between CEPGL member countries in the energy sector, Mr. Charles VUMBI MBENGA, the Director of Energy, Madam Emma ISUMBINGABO Françoise and the Director of Administration and Finance, Mr. Jonas HAKIZIMANA, the EGL team of Experts, and the Ruzizi III Energy Limited (REL) team visited Ruzizi III Hydroelectric project area from 1st to 2nd February 2022. The visit aimed at verifying local communities’ understanding and its involvement vis-à-vis the Ruzizi III regional hydroelectric project, particularly proposed environmental protection in the project area and the land acquisition process.
Ruzizi III Hydroelectric Project developed by REL on the Ruzizi River; a natural border between DRC, and Rwanda currently hosting Ruzizi I, and II Hydropower plants, will create a 206-megawatt hydropower plant with generated electricity equally shared between the CEPGL member countries (Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Rwanda). It will benefit the CEPGL population by almost doubling Burundi’s current capacity, increasing Rwanda’s installed capacity by nearly 30%, and providing much-needed baseload power in Eastern DRC, a region that is otherwise isolated from DRC’s interconnected grid.

Prof. RUNYINYA Barabwiriza (Yellow Vest) interacting with a lady whose land in
Kafunda Village, Groupement Karhongo, DRC has been valuated

“We are pleased by the outcomes from discussions between EGL and REL team. They will positively impact the next phases of the project. Further, as the EGL team, we have been satisfied by how the population till to date is welcoming the project, being consulted, and getting involved in the project activities at all levels,” said EGL Director General, Mr. Charles VUMBI MBENGA.

Additionally, the EGL Director-General said that they have been honored by the population’s preoccupations including their proposals that would improve their wellbeing once accomplished. Some of the proposals from the project affected people that would improve their wellbeing through electricity generated businesses including supplying electricity to the communities still in obscurity in the Project area once the hydropower plant starts operating.

Before the visit of the EGL Director-General in the project area, the EGL team of Experts composed of Prof. RUNYINYA Barabwiriza; EGL Environmental Expert, and Chrysanthe TUZAYENU; EGL Social Development and Gender Expert visited Ruzizi III Project Area in both DRC and Rwanda from 23rd to 30th January 2022 to deeply assess the stakeholder’s involvement in the project activities.

In the meeting with the EGL Team of Experts in Rwanda, Anatholie AYINKAMIYE said that the PAPs are satisfied with their involvement in the Project activities

They held meetings with resettlement committees’ members representing the Project-affected people (PAPs) from Both DRC and Rwanda. The EGL Team of Expert asked the PAPs representatives if they are informed, consulted, and involved in the project activities.

“We appreciated the transparent land and property valuation process undertaken by REL. They fairly counted our lands and properties. So far, we are consulted and involved in the Project activities,” said Anatholie AYINKAMIYE; Gatebe village Chairperson and member of resettlement committee in Bugarama Sector.

Apart from the PAP’s representatives, the EGL team of Experts held different meetings with authorities from both DR Congo and Rwanda. In DR Congo, they held a meeting with Ministers in the Provincial Government of South Kivu namely, the Minister of Public works and Land Affairs: Mr. WENDA MUKANGWA Placide, Minister of Environment: Mr. Jérémie ZIRHUMANA BASIMANE, and Minister of Energy: Mr. BULINDI Apollinaire. The Ministers appreciated the level of leadership consultation and requested the Ruzizi III Hydroelectric project to fast-track the project activities.

In Rwanda, they held discussions with the Mayor of Rusizi District; Dr. Anicet KIBIRIGA. He appreciated the initiative of developing the Ruzizi III Hydroelectric Project. He lauded the initiative saying that apart from generating electricity, it will also be an opportunity for the population of Rusizi district to obtain employment and improve their livelihood.

The Mayor of Rusizi District; Dr. Anicet KIBIRIGA also held discussion with EGL Experts and REL Team