That food tastes especially delicious when one is at one’s hungriest is neither conjecture nor myth even if everyone knows that nothing will have been added to it.
It may not be that precise attempting to draw any parallels between this scenario and the government’s announcement in the National Assembly in Dodoma just the other day of plans to ensure all people seeking connection to electricity are actually supplied with power by the end of this year.
The announcement is all the same a wonderful, if belated, one and should have those now expecting power supply from the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco) salivating in the understandable hope of soon leaving some of their woes behind them.
Responding to a Member of Parliament who sought to k now from the government exactly when Tanesco would have the poles, cables, meters and other basic it need to reach more customers, Energy and Minerals deputy minister George Simbachawene told the House that there was no shortage of the items cited but the only problem was that there were a lot more people in need of electricity than the power firm could cater for.
In what those targeted should consider news well worth applauding and celebrating, the deputy minister declared that Tanesco and the Rural Energy Agency were jointly working to ensure that Namanga and Longido villages in northern Tanzania were supplied with power from Kenya – that is, just across the two countries’ common border.
We say this because the role reliable power supply plays in boosting or accelerating national development and generally cushioning human civilisation cannot be overemphasized. Yet we know that the number of Tanzanians connected to this decisive agent of change is small indeed relative to the country’s total population of 40 million or so.
What’s more, directing electricity to areas considered peripheral or remote and therefore hard to reach opens up those areas to a wide range of obvious opportunities long missed.
That would be in partial implementation of the government’s policy of slowly but surely bridging the yawning gap development gap between these particular areas and those much better served.
But Tanesco is going through such trying economic times that it would be overly rash, not optimistic, expecting it to perform the virtual miracles this would entail unless the government chips in with the massive injections of financial and other support the firm just cannot do without.
However, a promise is a promise – and a promise by the government is understandably usually taken very seriously and closely followed up by those to whom it is made. So, while the deputy minister may not have really promised, many will have taken his remarks for a solemn promise and will be eagerly awaiting implementation in the form of actually having electricity at their homes, workplaces, etc.
Therefore, whatever problems Tanesco may be facing, the most should be done not to disappoint any of those hundreds if not thousands of people on the firm’s waiting list of prospective customers. Serving all at a go is clearly impossible, but the work must begin – and continue. And it would be a role excellently played amid daunting challenges.