Villagers get solar power plants for 1000 per day

20Jan 2016
Our Reporter
The Guardian
Villagers get solar power plants for 1000 per day

THOUSANDS of villagers who are not connected to the national electricity grid in Biharamulo and Bukombe districts, Mwanza and Geita regions are to benefit from a World Bank-funded solar power project.

The project is to be implemented by Rex Energy, a leading solar energy contractor in collaboration with Rural Energy Agency (REA) and the Bretton Woods Institution. The project will see beneficiaries contribute between 200/- to 1,000/- per day to get a solar system depending on the size of the solar power plant one will have installed.
In the arrangement, REA pays half the cost of the solar power system and villagers at their individual capacities foot the remaining amount.
Speaking to The Guardian yesterday in Dar es Salaam, Executive Director of Rex Energy, Francis Kibhisa said idea of the project was developed after realizing that there is high demand for solar power in the two districts and people cannot afford to install solar power plant.
Kibhisa further said Bukombe and Biharamulo districts were selected by REA in collaboration with Rex Energy as model areas for the project under a special programme called ‘bukubuku’, in which the villagers pay 1,000/- per day.
According to Kibhisa, more than 15,000 households in 102 villages will benefit from the programme.
He said villagers use their mobile phones to settle their payments but some who cannot afford to pay daily they are allowed to pay monthly and after a year, they are all expected to own their solar power system.
The firm’s Customer Services Manager, Sarah Mhagama detailed that the solar power plants have a life span of more than 15 years and urged the beneficiaries to take good care of them
“Our aim is to complement government’s efforts to ensure that more people have access to reliable power,” she said.