THE Rural Energy Agency (REA) has lined up a number of projects aimed at increasing the use of clean energy with special focus on natural gas to cushion climate change effects.

REA Director General, Eng Hassan Saidy, told the media that the projects for promoting clean energy use focus on natural gas and low energy cooking stoves.

He was speaking at Ifakara in Morogoro Region during the meeting organised by Chief Government Spokesperson, Mr Gerson Msigwa during which he explained on the implementation of REA projects and plans for the next fiscal year.

“We are obliged to ensure there is an increase of use of clean energy in rural areas where firewood and charcoal are main sources of cooking energy. With adverse effects of climate change, we need to take charge in preserving other sources of energy like hydro power which depends on water” Eng Saidy said.

He said in the next financial year the agency will set aside 6.7bn/- for the construction of natural gas networks, a task that will  be undertaken by the Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) in Coast and Lindi regions.

According to the director general, the World Bank (WB) will support distribution of 200,000 low energy cooking stoves in rural areas during the implementation of environment protection project.

Moreover, he said, they are finalising details with the Tanzania Investment Bank (TIB) for soft loans to facilitate business operators for proper storage of petroleum products.

“We are not only dealing with rural electrification but we are also focusing on exploiting energy projects in an affordable and environmentally friendly manner” he insisted.

In the next year the REA will also conduct capacity building training on the construction of biogas systems in public institutions which serve more than 300-people to decrease the use of charcoal and firewood.

During the press conference, REA also spoke of Ifakara power substation construction project whose implementation now stands at 80.1 per cent and is expected to be launched in March next year.

The project is planned to serve 100,000 power users in Kilombero and Ulanga districts.

“The Ifakara substation will bring to an end the electricity woes in  the two districts hence, assuring residents of enough power supply, enabling them to  run their economic activities,” said the director general.

The construction of the Ifakara substation and the electricity transmission and supply infrastructures in Kilombero and Ulanga districts at the cost of 8.75 million Euros is being undertaken by the government in collaboration with the European Union (EU).

Eng Saidy said since REA started operating in 2007 the electricity availability was 69.9 per cent in rural area, and it is planned that by 2030 it will cover all the villages in the country.

Speaking during the press conference, Assistant Director of the Tanzani Information Service, Rodney Thadeus said the REA projects in Morogoro region facilitate and stimulate business within the Southern Agricultural Growth Corridor of Tanzania (SAGCOT).

He called upon Tanzanians to make proper use of the rural electrification projects for improving their welfare and socio-economic wellbeing.

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