TANZANIA’s 73.4 per cent of the villages are now electrified, making the country excel on the continent with its largest population being able to access reliable and affordable power supply, according to Minister for Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani.
Announcing new measures targeting to electrify every village, suburb, town and city, the minister said Nigeria and South Africa came second and third place respectively.
The new measures lined-up by the ministry include lowering a connection fee from 320,000/- to 27,000/- in all peri-urban areas, fixing and connecting electric poles to customers and extending the national grid.
The Rural Electrification Agency (REA) has been connecting only village customers at a fee of 27,000/-, but the minister categorically told reporters “we have learnt that some residents in municipalities and cities want electricity, but are financially constrained.”
About 24,000 out of 64,300 suburbs in the country are fully electrified as of this March. The minister said the government through Tanesco and Rea had launched a nine-month pilot project targeting to connect all suburbs in Dar es Salaam – the strategy expected to be completed in July this year.
“We want to implement a similar project in Arusha, Tanga, Dodoma, Mwanza and Mbeya,” he said. Dr Kalemani had already held tete-a-tete deliberations with each electrical engineer and contractor in Dar es Salaam and Coast regions to ensure the government plan succeeded.
Some of the areas to benefit from the peri-urban initiative include Pugu, Gongo la Mboto, Kigamboni, Chanika, Mkuranga, Kisarawe, Kibaha, Bagamoyo, Mbomba-Mbili and Chalinze.
At least 214 suburbs have been identified and it will cost 74.3bn/-, according to government records.
The figures clearly indicate that so far 9,001 villages have access to affordable and reliable power, up from only 2018 villages in 2015.
It is on record that the government will be spending 492bn/- to supply electricity to 3599 villages. According to the Energy Minister, at least 1,822 villages will be connected by June this year.
The minister has requested all contractors to give a list specifying the name of villages/suburbs and timeline. Such information should also be communicated to village leaders, religious leaders and political leaders.
Members of the public must ensure they complete all wiring arrangements of their houses and make the needful payment on time.
Dr Kalemani called on members of the public to be calm as every village would be reached under the new arrangement.
He issued a one-month ultimatum to all contractors implementing REA project to fix all electric poles, commission wiring and transformers on standby to connect all customers.
Source: Daily News