This story from Nature talks about the potential hazards that lie in the lake's depths: it's full of gas, some carbon dioxide but mostly methane, and these gases pose a substantial risk to local people. If they're released from the water, they have the potential to sicken or kill people and animals along the shoreline.
But, these gases--especially the methane--might also prove to be a valuable energy resource for Rwandans. Lack of reliable energy supplies is a major concern in the country as it tries to expand economic activity.
A question then becomes: can the gas be released safely so that businesses can capture it and turn it into electricity? The Rwandan government has already entered into concessions with energy companies to do this and these concessions are worth hundreds of millions of dollars. Scientists, however, disagree about the best technologies and strategies for extracting the resources and existing projects have had limited success. Here's a discussion of some of the problems.
Two issues come to my mind when I read this: (a) will methane provide another basis for resource-based conflict in an area with entirely too much resource-based conflict and (b) assuming an extraction process is identified that is safe and cost-effective, what mechanisms exist for encouraging accountability and transparency with regard to the income stream these contracts will generate? Or, will these projects devolve into financial boondoggles?
Rwanda needs more energy to do more business; careful development of these resources has the potential to further bolster the country's growing private sector.