ENERGY Minister Medard Kalemani has assured residents in Kagera Region that the government is in the final stages to connect more villages in the region to the national grid, and called on investors to establish industries. Dr Kalemani explained that a total of 541 villages out of 662 villages in the region have access to power, equivalent to 81.7 per cent.
The minister pledged that the remaining 121 villages would get electricity by next year. With continued efforts to connect more villages, the number of connected customers has increased from 56,671 during 2015 to 89,172 by June 30, 2020. Dr Kalemani assured residents that all households that were surveyed would be connected to electricity at affordable fees of 27,000/-. He made the remarks over the weekend during a sensitization seminar on the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) project benefits held at Bunazi Township, in Missenyi district. “Tanzania is an attractive country for large investments.
The nation boasts of reliable electricity following the near completion of several projects including the Mwalimu Julius Nyerere Hydro Electricity Power Project that will generate about 2,115 MW,” he said. Dr Kalemani expressed satisfaction on the implementation of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric project (RRFHP) that currently has been completed by about 80 per cent and was expected to be completed by December, this year. Also, the 87MW KakonoMissenyi, the 16 MW MurongoKikagati-Kyerwa project that had so far reached 36 per cent and the Msongezi 39MW.
He noted that the Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric project is a good initiative that will improve the socioeconomic benefits and will address the acute shortage of electricity facing the three countries, something which negatively affects their economies. Once operational, the project will generate 80 MW of renewable clean energy, with each country receiving an additional 165 GWH per year, he said.
The project will enhance regional cooperation, support sustainable management of the Kagera River Basin, promote growth and poverty reduction and also manage environmental aspects. The additional power will benefit about 1,146,000 people in the three countries- 520,000 in Burundi (5.4 per cent), 159,000 in Tanzania (0.34 per cent) and 467,000 in Rwanda (4 per cent).
Minister Kalemani disclosed that the World Bank (WB) donated 340 million US dollars (about 788.4bn/-) for the construction of the power plant while the African Development Bank (ADB) donated 128.6million US dollars (about 298.2bn/-) for construction of transmission lines. He emphasized on the need to enhance regional cooperation through implementation of sustainable development projects for socio-economic development of the countries.
“Power shortage in these countries and indeed the entire Nile Basin region has resulted in an underdeveloped manufacturing sector, hence limited opportunities for business development for generating income,” he said. He said Tanzanians should capitalise on increased power supply by establishing medium and large scale industries. The government is determined to ensure that by 2025 all villages in the country are connected with electricity, he assured