by Peter Orengo
Resident of Kagera in Tanzania are excited with the news that they will soon be connected to the national grid.
Energy Minister, Dr Medard Kalemani has assured Kagera residents that by May, this year about 95 per cent of the villages will be connected to the national grid.
Dr Kalemani revealed the information during his talks with Kagera Regional Commissioner (RC), Brig Gen Marco Gaguti when he paid him a short visit on Thursday afternoon shortly after his arrival as he was heading to Kyaka for inspecting power lines.
“I can proudly announce that within a short period most of Kagera villages will be connected to the national grid.
Transmission lines from the national grid had so far been extended to Nyakanazi and Itako, and from there it would be extended to other parts of the region including Muleba, Bukoba Rural and Missenyi districts,” he said.
Dr Kalemani expressed satisfaction on the implementation of the Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric project (RRFHP), that will enhance regional cooperation, support sustainable management of the Kagera River Basin, promote growth and poverty reduction and also manage environmental aspects.
The project will address the acute shortage of electricity experienced by the three countries, which negatively affect their economies.
Once operational, the project will generate 80 MW of renewable clean energy, relatively low cost power to the national grids of the three countries shared equally, with each country receiving an additional 165 GWH per year, per country.
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).
He assured Tanzanians that efforts were in final stages to link more areas to the national. He said: “Such efforts had yielded fruits by extending the national grid to Bulyankuru-Geita and Kigoma-Nyakanazi,”.
“All the projects were being undertaken by Tanzania Electricity Supply Company (Tanesco) as it has the capacity to complete the works. We will not be hiring other contractors,” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Kalemani revealed that Tanzania and Uganda recently signed yet another Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the supply of electricity to villages along the Uganda- Tanzania border.
The rural electrification MoU was signed between the Minister for Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Augustine Mahiga, and Uganda’s Minister for Energy, Mr Simon D’Ujanga.
Dr Mahiga signed on behalf of the Minister for Energy and Minerals.