The European Union (EU), through the Tenth EDF Rural Energy Programme in Tanzania, has launched a new rural energy initiative which would benefit over 8,000 people in Njombe Rgion.
CEFA (European Committee for Training and Agriculture) and its partner, MVC (Matembwe Village Company Limited), officially launched the project.
The “Ikondo Rural Energy” Project, an initiative worth euros1, 767,244 , will in the next four years see the installation of an additional 240kw turbine and an extension of over 38km of the existing distribution grid.
According to the Project Manager, Giacomo Spigarelli, the initiative will represent an incredible opportunity of social and economic development for the communities involved.
He said in a statement issued yesterday in Dar es Salaam the project launched yesterday was initiated by an Italian NGO, CEFA and entrusted to MVC.
“Households, private enterprises and public service providers will all be positively affected by the provision of reliable and affordable electricity,” he said.
CEFA intends to connect to the national grid over 130 new users during the project’s lifespan, with possibilities of increasing the number in the coming years.
The project is the most recent initiative of a 25-year-long rural electrification programme realised by the organisation in the Iringa Region.
He thanked the European Union and Tanzania’s Ministry of Finance for the support which will be able to interconnect the Ikondo micro-hydropower plant to a similar facility situated in Matembwe village.
“This is the first rural electrification project realised by the Italian NGO in the country,” he said, adding that the hydropower plant represents an example of how carefully planned development projects can prove to be sustainable and be crucial for the social and economic growth of the communities involved.
Johannes Kamonga, Managing Director of MVC, expressing his enthusiasm for the new initiative said: “It is now more than 20 years that in Matembwe we’ve been benefitting affordable and reliable electric power and during this period the village has experienced incredible development.
He said they are happy that other villages will get the chance to benefit from the same opportunities and are proud to be invited to give their contribution on the initiative.
On behalf the District Commissioner, Njombe District Executive Director Mohamed Kupete, praised the initiative, reminding that “rural electrification is considered a long term national interest and a prerequisite for a balanced socio-economic growth for all people”.
He underlined the importance of such projects and assure that the local authorities will grant CEFA and MVC all the necessary support in order to make the initiative a success.
The “Ikondo Rural Energy” Project will continue its activities until August 2015.
It will allow access to electricity to the villages of Ikondo, Ukalawa, Nyave and Isoliwaya, while setting the basis for reaching in the next future the villages of Kanikelele and Igoga.