REA lights Gwembe, Council sign MoU to increase electricity accessibility
THE Rural Electrification Authority (REA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Gwembe Town Council to increase access to electricity in the district.
REA Chief Executive Officer Linus Chanda said the MoU would enable the two institutions to facilitate the joint financing of projects to leverage two funding streams and enhance capacity to reduce the lead time for which targeted communities will receive electricity.
Mr Chanda said the agreement would also build the capacity of qualified members of the rural population in Gwembe constituency in project management, data management, financial literacy and operations and maintenance of off-grid renewable energy systems.
He said initial studies have indicated that there are close to 30 sites that have been listed as priority electrification projects in the constituency and would require more funding.
“We are optimistic that these projects can be phased and implemented over the shortest possible period of time,” Mr Chanda said.
Mr Chanda said for Gwembe to grow significantly, electricity was critical in driving the agenda of transforming the district to an industrial and agriculture hub of not only Southern Province but the country at large.
He has called on other local authorities to consider such partnerships as a priority as it would enable them transform most rural areas in their jurisdictions.
Mr Chanda said the government had revised the target of electrifying the rural population from 51 percent to 100 percent by 2030.
He said access to electricity which was an urgent social need had been given priority by government as demonstrated by the increased allocation of funds in the national budget.
And Gwembe Council Secretary Maliwa Muchu said the (MoU) would enable the district have access to electricity which has been a challenge.
Mr Muchu said access to electricity was critical for the district which has fishing and farming as the main activities.