PRESS RELEASE - 31 OCTOBER 2017

Kigali- 31st October, Rwanda Energy Group (REG) condemns recent illegal connections that have caused injuries and deaths in three districts. REG is committed to educate the general public about the dangers of electricity, how to prevent electricity shock and electrocution. It’s in this case that REG has intensified the awareness campaign through media to reduce electrically-related fatalities, injuries, and property loss.

Rwanda Energy Group would like to remind all the general public and its esteemed customers that whoever needs to be connected to electricity network or has an issue related to power should, seek support from REG technicians provided by the respective branch. Some incidences that have resulted into electricity injuries and death include the following: Using substandard materials, using unprofessional technicians, touching cables and climbing high voltage lines and cabins.

There are unqualified technicians operating upon deceit of the public out there claiming to be REG/EUCL/EDCL employees, telling citizens that they can give them access to electricity or repair their installations. REG management is calling upon the general public to be cautious with these people, commonly known as ABAHIGI, because their services are substandard and may result into electrocution or fire.  

The following are the examples of accidents that were due to the illegal connection and use of substandard materials:

1.     On Sunday 22nd October 2017, in Gasabo District, Rutunga sector, Ndatemwa cell in, Karuranga village, 2 children of the age of 16 and 17 were electrocuted after touching a construction wire that was used illegally to share electricity between two households. Apart from the fact that this connection was illegal given that REG had not been informed, cables used were not respecting required standards, and this resulted into death of two young girls.

 2.     On Wednesday 25th October 2017 in Rusizi District, Muganza sector, Gakoni cell, in Kindobwe village, one of the 3 young  girls of the age of 15, was electrocuted and the other two were injured. This was caused by a cable that was detached by an unqualified technician (claiming to be EUCL staff) and touched the roof which also transferred to the metallic fence after being cut. The first child touched the fence while playing and was immediately electrocuted, while the two others were injured while trying to save the life of their colleague.

  3.     On Sunday, 29th October 2017 in Musanze District, Muhoza sector, Mpenge cell in Mpenge village, a young man of 31 years who was cutting grass was struck by electrical shock when he tampered with the electrical cables that were emerging from electrical cabin. He is presently admitted in Ruhengeri hospital.

 4.     Again on the 29th October 2017, in Musanze District, a young 10 years old student was struck by electrical shock after trampling on the uninsulated MV line cable which was damaged by a road maintenance company at work. She was also brought to Ruhengeri hospital and is still under treatment.

In a bid to prevent such accidents and deaths, REG would like to request all Rwandans the following:

·         Inform it via its toll-free telephone line 3535 whenever you see someone climbing an electrical pole while he/she is not a REG/EUCL/EDCL staff;

·          Inform REG via 3535 in case you see any one claiming to be REG/EUCL/EDCL staff with no identification or uniform;

·         Avoid touching uncovered and fallen cables. In case you see any, please inform us on 3535.

·         Inform REG of any electricity related issue.

·         Avoid opening and tempering with meters

·         Forbid children from approaching and playing around the network while maintenance and rehabilitation works are going on or any other places where works in progress could damage cables;

·         Respect the caution notices put on high voltage cabins or poles; 

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