Saturday, May 11, 2013

Simbachawene: All districts to be connected with electricity this year

THE Government has promised that, it will connect all districts to the national grid for electricity power supply during the 2013/14 financial year, the Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals George Simbachawene told a Parliament on Thursday this week. Responding a supplementary question raised by Bamba-bay legislator (CCM) retired Captain John Komba during questions and answers’ sessions, he said that, the government has set aside money in this year’s fiscal year to be used to connect all the newly established districts in newly formed regions in the country. He added that, the move by the government is to facilitate economic development of the areas concerned. Earlier, the Mbaba-Bay legislator wanted to know what plans has the government with his district Bamba-Bay which he said has not been connected with the electricity since independence time, and wanted to know what plans the government has in order to connect his district with electricity. Meanwhile, the government has reiterated its commitment in the execution of the Malagarasi Stage III 44.8 MW Hydro Power Plant project which is located at Igamba falls on the Malagarasi River in Kazuramimba Ward, Kigoma Region in western Tanzania. The project which was commissioned since 2008 with the support of the fund of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has accomplished the first and second phase of the feasibility studies, and is yet to start for lack of money despite all the details for construction design are in place. Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, George Simbachawene told the Parliament on Thursday this week that, the government is striving with all its efforts to look for the money from its internal donors or even outside the country with which to start construction. He clarified the fact that, the government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) in order to implement the project which on its completion will help to facilitate the economic development activities of people of Kigoma and Rukwa regions respectively. The Deputy Minister was responding a question earlier raised by South Kigoma legislator (NCCR-Mageuzi) who wanted to know reasons why the government is keeping a slow pace of the project without proper explanations. The legislator was joined by Kigoma North (Chadema) legislator Zitto Kabwe who added a supplementary question to the deputy energy minister in demand to pressurize the government for an explanation over the matter which the two noted that, has been staggering thus causing a slow down of the various economic developments of the region as a whole. Since independence time over 50 years down the lane, Kigoma region has not been receiving a reliable electricity power supply and the possibility of getting the national grid is low despite the region has the great capacity of establishing big natural investments and industries to supply their products in domestic products as well as at the international level thus contributing to the national gross domestic product. In light of the current prevailing problem facing the region, the government is currently supplying the region with the electricity being generated by diesel oil in Kigoma town and which is connected to Uvinza district headquarter through as program of rural electrification program and also under the Rural Energy Agency (REA) second phase program. According to Deputy Minister, the work of connecting Uvinza district headquarter with the electricity will include the construction of a transmission line, the installation of transformers and the connection of the first 2,100 customers and the total cost of the whole project  is estimated to be Sh. 4.46 billion. The United States of America acting through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) has granted to the Government of Tanzania (GoT) through Millennium Challenge Account Tanzania (MCA-T) MCC funding that seeks to reduce poverty, stimulate economic growth, and increase household incomes through targeted infrastructure investments in transport, energy, and water sectors.

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