• Border benefits

    Border benefits

    Burundi and Rwanda are going ahead with plans to build a multi-purpose dam on a river running between the two countries.

    The dam, to be built on the Akanyaru river, will provide more than 600 000 people with drinking water and supply electricity to about 140 000 households in both nations, as reported by Afrik21.

    With a storage capacity of around 333 million m3 of water, the dam is also expected to benefit almost 25 000 farmers, irrigating an estimated 12 474 ha of land. A 14.5 MW hydropower station at the dam will eventually provide electricity to about 850 000 people.

     A funding drive to raise US$190 million for the dam is being backed by the AfDB and the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility.

    The Akanyaru project is part of the Nile River Basin investment programme, a joint initiative between Burundi and Rwanda. The river, which originates in the western highlands of the two countries, flows east and then north along the border, before joining the Nyabarongo, one of the sources of the Nile.

    A detailed action plan is expected this month.

    2 March 2021
    Image: Gallo/Getty Images