Two children dead due to unprotected electric cables

Two children died in Kinanira district of Kinindo zone in the south of the capital Bujumbura following the uncovered outdoor electrical installations. The organization advocating children’s rights [SOGEPAE] asks the Minister of Energy and Mines to ensure immediate adequate installations.

Electrical cables exposed in Kinindo zone, south of the capital Bujumbura

Electrical cables exposed in Kinindo zone, south of the capital Bujumbura

“We are very much concerned about the phenomenon of underground electrical installations by REGIDESO (the company in charge of supplying water and electricity) as this endangers the lives of the population. We have already recorded four cases of victims of these unprotected underground installations. Two children died in the last two weeks”, said David Ninganza, SOGEPAE spokesman.

Ninganza reported that the first victim was electrocuted in Kinanira III neighborhood of Kinindo zone in southern Bujumbura while the second victim is a young girl who recently died at Kinindo parish.

Ninganza said he contacted REGIDESO technicians asking them to fill the holes correctly and cover exposed cables with insulating materials, but they explained that REGIDESO does not have appropriate equipment to do it.

For Ninganza, REGIDESO has the task of ensuring the welfare of the population and not putting their lives at risk. “Unprotected electrical installations may cause many deaths and no one is spared from the danger,” he said.
Ninganza asked the Minister of Energy and Mines to react quickly and issue injunction to REGIDESO authorities for immediate solution. If nothing is done many other dangerous incidents may arise.

He said REGIDESO authorities were committing crimes. “The penal code is clear; REGIDESO will be obliged to compensate the families of the victims. SOGEPAE requested REGIDESO’s contribution to the burial of one of the victims, but the company rejected our request, “said Ninganza.

“In a month, no electric cables will be uncovered”

Wilson Tangishaka, Technical Director of Electricity at REGIDESO explains that the incidents are caused by the lack of adequate equipment to fix underground installations timely and appropriately. “After receiving the information about the two recent deaths, I have been able to visit all the areas with the technicians to see the situation on the ground. We believe that no more electric cables will be uncovered in a month,” said Tangishaka.

He said REGIDESO would use the means it had to solve the issue out any time adequate equipment would be available. Concerning compensations, Tangishaka said that “REGIDESO will investigate whether the deaths are actually caused by the company. If someone files a complaint against REGIDESO and that it turns out that the latter is responsible, it will pay compensations”, he said.

Such bare electric cables left exposed are also observed in Ntwarante Avenue in Kinindo Zone and at Siguvyaye Avenue of South Mutanga in Rohero Zone of Mukaza municipality and in a parcel at North Mutanga of Gihosha zone in Ntahangwa municipality.