THE government will connect and freely supply natural gas installation equipment to the first customers, who would be ready to be reached by the project in regions.
After being connected for domestic consumption, the customers will then be billed according to units used as Tanzania Electric Supply Company Limited (Tanesco) treats its clients in recharging their meters, mostly known as Luku system.
That was said at Mnazi Mmoja village, Lindi Region yesterday by Minister of Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani, while launching construction of Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC) natural gas infrastructure.
He said, in the financial year 2020/21, the government would connect 2,000 customers to natural gas facility, where 300 would hail from Lindi region.
“After being connected all customers will be provided with meters to be used in recharging their units for their own consumptions… the system will be called a prepaid service, as it requires a customer to recharge his/her meter before enjoying the service,” he said.
According to Dr Kalemani , the service would ease consumption of energy at homes, offices, schools, hospitals and all such places.
Expounding, the minister said the natural gas would reduce cost of living in villages, end environmental pollution and waste of time for people in rural areas, who spend a lot of time fetching firewood for cooking, adding: “I am encouraging all villagers to make a better use of this opportunity.”
On average, a family of six people is estimated to be spending 30,000/- on buying natural gas per month.
The minister added that, with this amount, a customer can cook any kind of food cheaply in comparison to costs he/she would incur in firewood or a bag of charcoal.
“The government is doing enough to improve lives of its people, and it invented the natural gas to be used in power production and now it is supplying it for domestic use, which includes cooking.
However, the supply and connection of all infrastructures will be free of charge for all households, you will only be charged for the units used,” he explained.
However, the Minister noted that the initiative was being introduced to discourage constant use of charcoal and firewood, which highly deplete forests and pollute environment.
He listed Morogoro, Dodoma, Singida and Dar es Salaam as regions, which will first get the service, because they have big populations, houses, hotels, factories and cars, which require the natural gas system.
On his part, TPDC Director General, Dr James Mataragio said all safety precautions have been put in place during the processes of designing and constructing the infrastructure.
“The infrastructures are safe, therefore any member of the public shouldn’t be worried at all, again our service is cost effective,” he said.
According to him, statistics shows that on average a household spends around 4,500/- on firewood and charcoal, but with the natural gas they would spend only 1,000/-
Present at the event, included Lindi Regional Commissioner (RC), Godfrey Zambi, who hailed the initiative saying it would improve lives of people in the region.
“It’s a milestone achievement for people in Lindi region, apart from homes, the gas would be used by hotels, hospitals, health centres, schools and factories,” he noted.