Rubagabaga Hydropower Plant is a run-of-river-mini hydropower plant on the Rubagabaga river in Nyabihu and Ngororero districts that intends to generate 445KW of electricity. It was built under the partnership between EAP and EUCL to contribute power to the national grid. The aim of this hydropower project is to launch a private-public-community partnership with local businesses, to produce clean electricity, and to boost the socio-economic activities in the region.
In addition to the over 300 households affected by this energy project, a proposed industrial park and local commercial center will be connected to this plant. As part of the social impact arm of EAP called Empowering Villages, these developments aim to stimulate the local market and provide educational and capacity-building opportunities for people in the area, allowing more households to afford the electricity generated by the plant.
The main beneficiaries of this project are members of the local community. In 2015, a survey was conducted with the purpose of helping understand the socio-economic state in Rubagabaga and to identify the needs in the community. Empowering Villages and EAP have engaged local leadership in the detailed planning and construction of the plant, in order to encourage lasting involvement in these projects and sustainable community impact.
After the success of this project, additional projects have been created to cater to the needs identified in the 2015 survey. Small local businesses are being incubated in the micro-industrial park, a library and community center give people a sense of space and ownership, an agricultural training center provides capacity-building in the most common local practices, and an eco-lodge brings in tourism and additional revenue stream.
Rubagabaga won the 2018/2019 best small-scale renewable energy project <5MW in the African Energy and Industry Awards in Cape Town.