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The SCATEC Team composed of the Senior Sustainability Manager; Mr. Morten Jonhsen, and Sustainability Coordinator; Mr. Guillaume Quigley visited Ruzizi III Hydropower Project from 1st to 4th March 2022. The visit aimed at familiarizing with the project area and to get the understanding as well as attitudes of the local population towards the project activities.

Together with Ruzizi III Energy Limited (REL) Team, the SCATEC team visited different project area sites including the dam site, powerhouse site, the switchyard, the dispatch site, and the access roads in both the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda.

Further, after touring the project sites, they had interactions with the Resettlement Committee members in both DRC and Rwanda. They also had discussions with different Project-affected people from both countries as well as the local leaders in the project area including the Chef de Groupement in DRC and Sector plus cells’ Executive secretaries in Rwanda.

“We had multiple interactions with the project-affected people. We have visited them both through formal committees and in the fields. The general feedback we have been receiving is that they are satisfied with the project so far including the interactions, the land, and property valuation as well as the whole land acquisition process,” said Morten, the Senior Sustainability Manager at SCATEC.

The Project affected people in both DRC and Rwanda proved to the visiting team their satisfaction with the project activities so far. But they enquired when the project would inform them of the compensation dates that will enable them to implement their already in place plans after having their lands and properties acquired by the project.

“We request all who will be affected to be patient because in the whole process we need to learn the impact of the project and propose the mitigation measures. This is an important project from a national and regional perspective providing electricity to the people. This is a kind of large project with an impact on the people and nature, but it is following international standards which ensure that there will be sustainable development. So, we hope to start more activities soon and start supporting more programs,” Morten added.

Apart from inquiring on the compensation dates, they additionally requested both REL and SCATEC to make the project affected people and population in the project area a priority during the labor recruitment process.
Both REL and SCATEC ensured the project-affected people that following the recruitment procedures people with different capacities will benefit from the project throughout its lifespan. They were guaranteed to be progressively informed of every project phase to enable them to submit their applications whenever vacant positions are available and or whenever any labor force is needed.

Ruzizi III Hydropower 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.