RURAL electrification programme being executed across the country thorough Rural Energy Agency (REA) has yielded significant achievement, placing Tanzania in top slots in Africa.
Such impressive success was revealed by Minister for Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani, when launching REA Phase III, second round that will see all villages in the Southern Highland Zone Region of Rukwa being connected to power come next year.
The launch was held over the weekend at Lowe village, Lusaka Ward in Sumbawanga District Council, Rukwa Region. JV & Qwihaya Partnership based in Dar es Salaam has been contracted to undertake the project.
“At least 86 per cent of the villages are now electrified, making the country excel on the African continent with its largest population being able to access reliable and affordable power supply. We are very optimistic that by next year, all villages countrywide will be connected with power by 100 per cent.
“Nigeria and South Africa come second and third respectively,” emphasised the minister.
Equally, Dr Kalemani said about 1,900 villages are yet to be connected with electricity, insisting that they will be connected in the second round of the third phase of the programme.
“The project will cost over 1.24 tri/- and will be implemented in 18 months in all regions across the country,” he said.
Dr Kalemani urged the residents at Lowe village to begin installing wiring in their homes ready for power connection, while contractors were erecting transmission cables in the precinct.
Mr Kalemani also called on the people to cooperate with the contractors to simplify their work, and that the villagers should be guards of the power transmission infrastructures and equipment.
He also reminded the villagers to utilise technicians approved by Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO) for undertaking the job of installing wiring in their homes.
“Villagers must be vigilant and be aware of conmen …. There is no extra cost apart from the 27,000/- charged for connection,” said the minister.
On his part, the Sumbawanga District Council Chairman, Mr Kalolo Ntila asked residents to tap the opportunity and get power connection in their homes.
On her part, the JV & Qwihaya Partnership project supervisor, Engineer Eva Fumbuka told reporters at the sideline of the event that the project took off on July 9th, this year and is scheduled to be completed in December 2022.
“The project programme will cover 125 villages in Rukwa Region and the survey work has reached 70 per cent so far,” she added.