GATSIBO – Solar-Energy Users claim loss due to poor services
By Nayituriki Anicet
Residents of Gitoki sector in Gatsibo district, the Eastern Province of Rwanda have not been able to pay for solar energy subscription for eight months after an investor failed to meet his obligations, which has hampered their business development.
It is a matter of concern that the Gatsibo district administration is closely monitoring.
It was in 2018 that the residents of the Gitoki sector received this solar-powered system from a company called Biolite.
At first glance, according to locals, it was a wake-up call for some who were thirsty for development and those who had been projecting far at the time were starting to create profitable jobs since they had no issue with Energy access.
At that moment, residents of Rutenderi Center began to think that the road to development would not be stopped.
However, later in the year they were unable to get solar energy since the investor payment system was no longer working with their mobile phones as it was before.
In the last eight months, things have changed a lot since the purchase of this Energy service on their phones has stopped working, requiring them to travel long distances to find a representative of that Solar Company and even when they are given the energy, the customer cannot know if the bill matches the energy received.
SINGIRANKABO Joseph, who had invested in milling business, said he has stopped to work adding that his inability to pay for solar energy bill had affected him dearly due to the malfunctioning of the company’s payment system, adding that even the cost of the solar energy was more expensive than electricity or other energy that are used in the area.
Mr. Singarinakabo shared the issue with his neighbors who used the Biolite Solar energy and demanded that the authorities help them in this matter and make the energy available in a timely manner and at a low cost.
Our correspondent has not been able to get a representative of the company to comment on this issue, however, Gatsibo District vice Mayor for Economic Development SEKANYANGE Jean Leonard, says that the issue is being monitored for a lasting solution.
He added that this will also go hand in hand with the increase in the number of electricity users in Gatsibo and once they are able to use electricity they will be able to create profitable jobs since the electricity can serve them better.
Statistics from Gatsibo district show that solar power users account for 25.8%, while 31.6% used electricity from the Rwanda Energy Group (REG) and this is the number that needs to go up.