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Why Rwanda Has Not Exploited Its Hot Springs


Why Rwanda Has Not Exploited Its Hot Springs

Rwanda has decided not to exploit hot springs (Amashyuza) into generating electricity to avoid unforeseeable obstacles that might interfere with the project.

There are several hot springs such as that of Kalisimbi, Bugarama, Rubavu, and elsewhere but they are yet to be tapped into to generate electricity.

Hot springs are among Rwanda’s most amazing national tourism resource. They attract thousands of tourists every year. Aside from being a touristic asset, hot springs can also be tapped in different ways including generating electricity.

While officiating the 7th African Geothermal Conference hosted by the government of Rwanda, Minister of Infrastructure, Amb. Claver Gatete, said that the country has tried different projects to tap that resource into electricity but has not yet succeeded in doing so.

The conference brought together more than 500 delegates from across Africa and beyond.

Amb. Gatete said that Rwanda first had to seek adequate knowledge to avoid that anything might halt the project thereafter.

Among what Rwanda has achieved in the regard, is partnering with experts from developed countries in exploiting hot springs to generate electricity such as Ireland, Japan, Kenya.

The country also sent students to acquire the knowledge.

“What we wanted is the expertise of other countries. We wanted to know how they did it and dealt with it so that we may also generate our electricity knowing that we are doing it with the latest technology,” he said.

He explained that this will enable Rwanda to avoid the obstacles that other countries faced in generating electricity from their hot springs.

“It is a pilot project. We had other partners who assisted us financially, others about skills and recommending us some needed tools,” he added.

Meanwhile, Minister Gatete said that participants of the conference will also have the opportunity to visit hot springs in Rwanda, observe them and share their perspectives on how they can be exploited.

So far, a test done on Kalisimbi hot spring has not been successful but those of Bugarama and Rubavu proved to be promising.

In Africa, Kenya is the first country to have successfully generated power from hot springs (676 megawatts) while worldwide, the United States ranks first with 3951 megawatts.

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