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This pipeline is the only physical connection between the Twin Lakes

This pipeline is the only physical connection between the Twin Lakes

On a good day, Mount Muhabura hikers can see the Twin Lakes clearly. From their vantage point, Lake Burera looks like a slightly tilted bowl about to pour its content into Lake Ruhondo. That’s a sight to behold.

Although lakes Burera and Ruhondo are two different water bodies, the former drops water into the latter non-stop. The transfer of water from one lake to another is done through the pipeline designed to rotate turbines in the process of generating electricity.

Ntaruka hydropower plant is constructed at the foot of the hill separating the two lakes. Built in 1959, this is one of the oldest power plants in Rwanda. It is one of the thirty-five hydropower investments producing 109.7 MW cumulatively, making up 48% of the country’s total production of electricity.

Lake Burera lies 150 meters higher than her twin sister. The two lakes’ uneven altitude levels enabled constructors of this project to mount an inclined pipeline through which water drops. From a distance, the pipeline looks like a straw connecting the two stunning lakes. It spans the distance of about six hundred meters on a very steep gradient.

The hill found between Burera and Ruhondo offers great hiking experiences. Standing on its highest point, one can see both lakes and all the five volcanoes lining up along the border. That’s another sight to behold.

Muhabura and Gahinga mountains border Rwanda and Uganda while Bisoke and Karisimbi are located on the boundary line separating Rwanda and the DRC. Mount Sabyinyo is at the adjoining point of three national parks located in three different countries: Rwanda, Uganda and the DRC. As my Cyanika-based friend usually says, "This is where the three countries meet." The location of this mountain is magical.

The slopes of these volcanoes are home to the mountain gorillas, from which a substantial amount of dollars is milked. Golden monkeys, buffaloes and a wide variety of bird species are also found in the area.

Hydropower is derived from the velocity of fast-running, dropping water. In this case, steep gradients and water bodies are harnessed to set up water-powered stations. By tapping into renewable energy, power is generated while contributing to a cleaner and healthier atmosphere.

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