EU accelerates villages’ grid power connection

DAR ES SALAAM: The Rural Energy Agency (REA) yesterday received a donation of 21 new vehicles from the European Union (EU).

The donation worth 1.9bn/-, will strengthen the supervision of rural energy projects and accelerate connecting all villages to the power grid by next June.

REA’s Director General, Eng Hassan Said told reporters that the donated vehicles will add more efforts to the agency to extend its services to supply electricity since out of the current 18 running vehicles, only 10 are in good condition.

“No doubt these vehicles are going to significantly improve the Agency’s capacity in supervising rural energy projects.

“Our current vehicles are overloaded since they are used for office and field,” noted  Eng Said.

The EU’s donation is a continuation of support to the government following the two signed financial agreements between the European Union and the government that provide a grant of 71.5 million euros (some 192bn/-) to support the rural energy projects.

The first agreement was signed in March 2017 when the EU agreed to provide a grant amount of 6.5 million euros grant to support the construction of a substation in Ifakara town as well as the extension of the electricity distribution network in Kilombero and Ulanga districts.

The project’s total cost is 8.753 million euros (3.675bn/-) as such EU contribution to the project is 74.3 per cent while the remaining 2.253 million euros was paid by the government.

Additionally, he noted that in November 2017, the EU signed a 50 million euro financing agreement with the government to support the implementation of the third phase of the rural Electrification Programme (Turnkey III project) which is an addendum to the financial agreement signed in December 2020.

“A total of 3,567 villages and 1,332 hamlets were electrified through three rural electrification projects that received funds from the EU contribution,” he added.

EU’s Head of Development Corporation Mr Cedric Merej said the EU is optimistic to keep supporting the Agency to facilitate these projects since its contribution covers 30 per cent of the villages in Tanzania.

Deputy Minister, Ministry of Energy Ms Judith Kapinga who was the guest of honor in the event said the vehicles donated by the EU will add more value to the agency and the whole operation of installing electricity within villages.

REA said out of 12,318 villages in Tanzania’s mainland, a total of 11,313 villages equivalent to 92 per cent have been connected with electricity services while contractors are at the site continuing with the construction of power networks to connect the remaining 1,005 villages before the end of June next year.

Also some 316 health centres and water pumps have been connected and 137 more facilities will be connected before March next year.

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