Small scale mining areas to be connected to power

GEITA: THE government has started to implement a special project to connect electricity to small-scale mining areas to minimize production costs and promote the use of technology in the mining sector.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, Dr Dotto Biteko revealed that recently while speaking to the people after inaugurating electricity services in the villages of Magenge and Kasesa of Busanda constituent in Geita district.

Dr Biteko said the project is part of the two projects being implemented in Geita district, which are the Rural Electricity Agency project, Phase Three, Round Two (REA3R2) and the Electricity Distribution in Mining.

He said there have been many complaints from small-scale miners claiming to use oil machines in extracting and refining minerals which contribute to high cost and thus being less profitable.

“We aim to minimize the production costs at the mining areas because the price of oil has been increasing on daily basis, we must look for a relief to save our small miners, and we do not only talk, we are committed to implementation the project.

The Geita Regional Commissioner, Mr Martin Shigella said currently the region is facing a shortage of electricity in the island areas but the government is working on that and has come up with a project to reach people in the areas.

Busanda Member of Parliament, Engineer Tumaini Magesa admitted that supplying electricity to small-scale miners, will help them to abandon poor technology and advance to modern technology.

Earlier, the Director of Rural Electricity, Engineer Jones Olotu said the government has allocated 39.1bn/- to connect electricity to villages which are yet to be reached with the service noting that so far 334 villages have electricity out of 461 villages.

Engineer Olotu said that in Geita district, 70 villages are not connected to power and contractors are at work and already 42 villages have been electrified.

According to The Tanzania Electric Supply Company Manager Engineer Grace Ntungi said about 18bn/- has been allocated for the Small Mining project, to deliver electricity to 35 areas of small-scale miners in the regions of Geita, Mwanza, Simiyu, Mara and Kagera.

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