By KAIKO NAMUSA –
PRESIDENT Michael Sata says Government will this year prioritise the construction of mini-hydro power stations to ensure rural areas are connected to electricity supply.
Mr Sata said in 2013, 29 grid extension projects were completed by the Rural Electrification Authority (REA), resulting in 1, 700 connections being made to schools, rural health centres, chiefs’ palaces, local courts, staff houses for Government employees, and other Government facilities.
He said the grid extension projects were undertaken in Kapiri-Mposhi, Katete, Petauke, Mwense, Kasama, Mungwi, Chinsali, Kabompo, Monze, Kalabo, Senanga and Namwala.
Other districts were Luwingu, Kawambwa, Samfya, Solwezi, Chavuma, Mbala, Choma, Sinazongwe,
Serenje, and Kaputa.
The President posted on his Facebook page yesterday that Government also successfully installed solar photo voltaic systems in 35 schools, 30 rural health centres, 20 chiefs’ palaces and 11 staff
He said in August last year, Government also completed and technically commissioned the Mpanta Solar Mini Grid Project in Samfya District in Luapula Province with 480 initial connections made.
“Today, I wish to share with you our Government’s efforts to provide electricity to our people in rural communities in order to improve the quality of their livelihoods.
“During 2014, our Government’s focus is to construct mini-hydro power stations in order to ensure that our people in rural areas are connected to electricity supply,” he said.
He said through the REA, Government would electrify the new districts in line with the decentralisation policy, as well as install solar photo voltaic systems in schools, rural health centres and Government offices.
The Head of State said that would be undertaken in Nyimba, Kabompo, Mwinilunga, Mwense, Mungwi, Monze, Livingstone, Mpongwe and Luangwa.
“It is my belief that our people will increase productivity and become more enterprising living in electrified communities by undertaking small-scale business ventures such as using hammer mills,
adding value to farm produce, welding and metal fabrication of farming implements, thereby improving their living standards,” he said.